Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
P. 1
Zimbabwe - The Transitional Government

Zimbabwe - The Transitional Government

Ratings: (0)|Views: 15 |Likes:
Published by zsrdocs
CRS Report - July 2010
CRS Report - July 2010

More info:

Published by: zsrdocs on Jul 14, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

07/14/2011

pdf

text

original

 
CRS Report for Congress
Prepared for Members and Committees of Congress
Zimbabwe: The Transitional Government andImplications for U.S. Policy
Lauren Ploch
Analyst in African Affairs July 7, 2010
Congressional Research Service
7-5700www.crs.govRL34509
 
Zimbabwe: The Transitional Government and Implications for U.S. PolicyCongressional Research Service
Summary
Over a year after the establishment of a transitional government in Zimbabwe, economic andhumanitarian conditions are gradually improving, but concerns about the country’s political futureremain. In February 2009, after almost a year of uncertainty following March 2008 elections,opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai was sworn as Prime Minister of a new coalitiongovernment. His swearing-in came five months after a power-sharing agreement was signed in aneffort to resolve the political standoff resulting from the flawed elections. For the first time sinceindependence, the ruling party had lost its parliamentary majority. The results of the presidentialrace, announced over a month late amid rising tensions, indicated that Tsvangirai had receivedmore votes than the incumbent, President Robert Mugabe, but had failed to gain the 50% neededto avoid a runoff. Days before the runoff, in late June 2008, Tsvangirai pulled out of the race,citing widespread political violence and the absence of conditions for a free and fair election.Mugabe was declared the winner, but many observer missions suggest that the poll did not reflectthe will of the people. In September, after weeks of negotiations, Tsvangirai and Mugabe reachedan agreement to form a unity government, with Mugabe remaining head of state, Tsvangiraibecoming Prime Minister, and cabinet and gubernatorial positions divided among the parties.Disputes over key ministries delayed the agreement’s implementation for months.The parties to the agreement face significant challenges in working together to promote politicalreconciliation and address serious economic and humanitarian needs. Politically motivatedviolence and repression followed the 2008 elections, which were held amidst a deepeningeconomic crisis. Zimbabwe’s gross domestic product (GDP) had decreased over 50% in the lastdecade, and the inflation rate rose to over 200 million percent in 2008. Following theestablishment of the transitional government, the economy has begun a slow recovery andinflation has subsided, but the official unemployment rate remains over 90%. The adult HIVprevalence rate of 15% has contributed to a sharp drop in life expectancy, and, althoughhumanitarian conditions have begun to improve, approximately two million required food aid inearly 2010. Over 4,300 died between August 2008 and July 2009 from a widespread choleraoutbreak that infected almost 100,000 and was attributed to poor water and sanitation conditions.Deteriorating conditions in the country led many Zimbabweans to immigrate to neighboringcountries in recent years, creating a substantial burden on the region. International donorswelcomed the power sharing agreement and have begun to reengage with the Zimbabweangovernment, but a resumption of significant assistance is expected to be predicated on moresubstantial political reforms. Many remain skeptical that true power sharing exists within thecoalition government. Several officials from the previous administration, which had a poorhuman rights record and was seen as autocratic and repressive by its critics, remain in the newgovernment. Reports of harassment of opposition and civil society activists continue, and manyquestion the former ruling party’s commitment to reform. Foreign investors also remain wary.The U.S. government has been critical of Mugabe and members of his former regime for theirlack of respect for human rights and the rule of law, and has enforced targeted sanctions againsttop government officials and associates since 2002. Congress articulated its opposition to theMugabe government’s undemocratic policies in the Zimbabwe Democracy and EconomicRecovery Act of 2001 (ZDERA; P.L. 107-99) and subsequent legislation. The ObamaAdministration has expressed cautious support for the transitional government, but debatecontinues within the government on how to proceed, and recent legislation, S. 3297, has proposedpolicy changes. Some suggest that U.S. sanctions be modified to reflect Zimbabwe’s new politicalconstruct, while others remain unconvinced that sufficient democratic reforms have occurred.
 
Zimbabwe: The Transitional Government and Implications for U.S. PolicyCongressional Research Service
Contents
Introduction................................................................................................................................1
 
Background................................................................................................................................1
 
March 2008 Elections...........................................................................................................2
 
Was ZANU-PF Planning for a Coalition Government?..........................................................4
 
Post-Election Violence..........................................................................................................4
 
The Power-Sharing Agreement....................................................................................................5
 
The Transitional Government......................................................................................................6
 
Economic Reforms Made, but Challenges Remain................................................................7
 
Humanitarian “Plus” Assistance and the Multi-Donor Trust Fund (MDTF)......................8
 
Public Finance Management and Reserve Bank Reforms.................................................9
 
Efforts to Revive the Economy......................................................................................10
 
Calls for Political Reforms Continue...................................................................................12
 
The Security Sector and Possible Internal Struggles within ZANU-PF...........................14
 
Human Rights Abuses...................................................................................................15
 
Justice Sector Reforms..................................................................................................16
 
Farm Invasions.............................................................................................................17
 
“Blood Diamonds”?......................................................................................................18
 
Cholera Outbreak......................................................................................................................19
 
International Reactions..............................................................................................................19
 
The Southern African Development Community (SADC)....................................................20
 
The African Union (AU).....................................................................................................22
 
South Africa........................................................................................................................22
 
Xenophobic Attacks Against Immigrants.......................................................................24
 
The United Nations.............................................................................................................24
 
The United Kingdom and the European Union....................................................................25
 
U.S. Policy on Zimbabwe..........................................................................................................26
 
Congressional Interest and Relevant Legislation..................................................................27
 
U.S. Assistance...................................................................................................................29
 
Current Restrictions on U.S. Assistance.........................................................................29
 
Policy Options..........................................................................................................................32
 
Diplomatic Pressure............................................................................................................33
 
Humanitarian Assistance.....................................................................................................33
 
Economic Recovery............................................................................................................34
 
Accountability and Reform.................................................................................................37
 
Appendixes
Appendix. Members of Zimbabwe’s Inclusive Government.......................................................38
 
Contacts
Author Contact Information......................................................................................................39
 

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->