Zimbabwe. The run-up to the parliamentary elections in March revealed that the ZANU-PF government party had problems with an internal power struggle. According to countryaah, Harare is the capital and one of the major cities within the country of Zimbabwe. Several heavier party officials were removed from the ballot boxes, including Information Minister Jonathan Moyo. He had left the party leadership at the end of 2004, after having intrigued party mates in connection with the election of a new second vice president, and was now forced out of the party. Despite its internal problems, the ZANU-PF prevailed in the parliamentary elections, which was scrutinized by far fewer foreign overseers than the 2000 elections.
- Also see abbreviationfinder.org for how the acronym ZW stands for the country of Zimbabwe and other meanings of this two-letter abbreviation.
Shortly after the election, the police began demolishing residential buildings, shops and street stands erected without building permits. The demolition was called “Operation Away with the Garbage” and was said to be aimed at cleaning up criminal activities. The destruction started in slums in Harare but soon spread across the country. The demolition lasted for a couple of months and, according to UN estimates, made at least 700,000 people homeless and unable to live. A further 2.4 million Zimbabweans were affected in other ways by police progress. The demolitions were seen both as a way to punish those who supported the opposition and as a demonstration of power on the part of the regime.
By having more than two-thirds majority in Parliament, ZANU-PF was able to make changes to the constitution. In August, despite an opposition protests, it was decided to reorganize an upper house, Senate, that it would cost at least SEK 450 million a year and only allow Mugabe to strengthen his position. The November Senate election resulted in the MDC virtually splitting since a few dozen members defied party leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s call for boycott. As expected, the election gave ZANU-PF a new big victory after very low participation. Another constitutional amendment stated that decisions on confiscation of agricultural land cannot be appealed. The land confiscation is considered to be one of the causes of Zimbabwe’s disastrous economic situation. According to the World Bank, no country in peace has probably experienced such an economic race as Zimbabwe since 1999. GDP has shrunk by 20% and agriculture by 26%. Per capita GDP has decreased by 30%, and according to the World Bank, 70% of residents live below the poverty line. Inflation, which was above 600% in 2004, dropped to just over 100% at the beginning of the year, but rose again in the second half of the year and reached just over 500% in November.
Zimbabwe was threatened with exclusion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) after incurring a debt of approximately US $ 295 million. However, the country was granted postponement after surprisingly repaying 120 million in August and another 15 million in October. The message about where the money came from was vague, which aroused suspicions that the central bank could have engaged in black exchange transactions.
Zimbabwe – Harare
Harare, to 1982 Salisbury, the capital of Zimbabwe; 1. 5 million residents (2013). Harare, located 1,483 meters above sea level, has a pleasant temperate climate. Harare is Zimbabwe’s most important industrial center and the cultural center of the Shona people. The university has existed since 1957. The city has several railways as well as an international airport.
The city was founded in 1890 by the name of Salisbury, and in 1899 it got a rail link with the capital Beira in Mozambique. After Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980, the city changed its name to Harare.
In the early 2000s, strong international criticism was also directed at the government for its handling of land redistribution, which according to political plans was to take place substantially from white big farmers to black small farmers. The land reform of the 1980s, based on voluntary and compensated transfer of land, led only to a small extent, and was also linked to corruption, which contributed to the acquisition of land not distributed to landless, but purchased by people who stood the regime close. The government has later passed laws that allow direct expropriation without compensation. Such takeovers have also occurred through widespread use of terror, and farmers have been displaced from their properties. In 2000, about 1300 large farms were occupied by so-called war veterans, and the owners – as well as many farm workers – were displaced; several farmers as well as workers were killed.
The very uneven distribution of land from Rhodesia, and land distribution as a major driver of the liberation struggle and Zimbabwean politics after independence, has meant that the government has widespread support in the population for the demand for increased pace in the redistribution of land. Resistance to other economic policies increased towards the end of the 1990s, when there were several strikes and demonstrations against raising the price of food and imposing new taxes.