Former Finance Minister Tendai Biti argues that Zimbabwe's worsening economic crisis is fundamentally political and driven by a lack of government legitimacy that will require active SADC engagement to resolve.
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The violence in the aftermath of Zimbabwe’s elections and ongoing disputes over their credibility undercut the goal of establishing legitimacy for the post-Mugabe government.
Multiple possible scenarios could emerge from Zimbabwe’s July 30 polls—the country’s first without Robert Mugabe’s name on the ballot. For now, the military appears intent on leveraging its interests.
With the resignation of President Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe enters a new political era—one without the only leader the country has known since independence in 1980. Here are five strategic considerations to follow.
Tendai Biti, former Minister of Finance in Zimbabwe, shares his reform agenda to advance Zimbabwe’s stability and reengagement with the international community. He maintains that Zimbabweans are tired of government that is not accountable to its people, and that the country, beyond Mugabe, has the opportunity to renew itself.
African governments are using the pretext of security to restrict digital communications and citizens’ rights. In the process, they are inadvertently contributing to economic losses and greater instability.
The recent rise in coups in Africa reflects a waning regional and international willingness to enforce anti-coup norms. Reversing the trend requires incentivizing democracy and consistently imposing real costs on coup makers.
Ruling party militias in Africa are an increasingly employed tool to intimidate political rivals and keep populations in check—violating democratic rights and undercutting military professionalism.
Russia’s strategic objective of degrading the model of democratic governance in Africa is frequently effected through the cooption of isolated African leaders.
Africa is facing a major disparity in its COVID vaccine access relative to any other region in the world, amplifying the human costs that Africans bear from the Delta variant surge.
The deployment of Chinese security firms in Africa is expanding without a strong regulatory framework. This poses heightened risks to African citizens and raises fundamental questions over responsibility for security in Africa.
(This article originally appeared as a chapter in "Russia Strategic Intentions White Paper," Strategic Multilayer Assessment (SMA) publication series, NSI, May 2019.)
Russia has significantly expanded its engagements in Africa in recent years. These engagements often take the form of propping up embattled and isolated autocratic leaders of countries that are rich in natural resources. The United States can draw a distinction with Russia’s destabilizing role by pursuing a positive engagement strategy in Africa. The United States must avoid the Cold War trap of competing with Russia for the affections of corrupt, autocratic leaders in Africa, however, as such a policy would be disastrous for Africa while not advancing US interests.