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.
China’s party-army model, whereby the army is subordinate to a single ruling party, is antithetical to the multiparty democratic systems with an apolitical military accountable to elected leaders adopted by most African countries.
Despite important differences, colonial Africa’s experience confronting the Spanish flu a century ago provides historical lessons for the COVID-19 response today.
Presidential task forces, staggered mobility, support for the most vulnerable, and local innovations mark Africa’s adaptive response to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
With urban population densities and poverty rates among the world’s highest, innovative measures will be needed to prevent African cities from becoming hotspots of the coronavirus pandemic.
African countries face varying levels of risk that will require adapting a diversified set of response strategies to the coronavirus. The most vulnerable countries may not be those with the earliest onset.
Crime and Contagion: The Impact of a Pandemic on Organized Crime, Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime
As the pandemic spreads, organized crime has been adapting to changing illicit market drivers. In Africa, increased border restrictions have impacted human-smuggling routes in the Sahel and the price of heroin in East and Southern Africa. Cocaine shipments from Latin America to West Africa are suspected of having restarted. In South Africa and Kenya, scammers have been exploiting fears and misinformation for profit. Anticipating opportunities for organized crime, particularly where security vulnerabilities already exist, will require building community support and depriving criminal groups of their legitimacy.
The spread of the coronavirus in Africa has been accompanied by pervasive misinformation. Fact-checking and ongoing public service communications by all actors are needed to curb the costs of these myths.