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Zimbabwe may technically be a country at peace, but it is suffering from extraordinary levels political instability, economic dislocation and social upheaval, similar to a war-torn country. This Note suggests that, once Zimbabwe has an acceptable political leadership, donors may need to apply post-conflict recovery strategies. Given the country’s fragility and the narrow window of opportunity a post-Mugabe transition will provide, the United States and the donor community should begin planning for such a response immediately. Formation of a U.S. Committee for Assistance to a Free Zimbabwe could help advance this goal. Letting Zimbabweans know they have not been forgotten and that the world stands ready to help once Robert Mugabe is gone could even hasten that day.
In the wake of Zimbabwe’s disputed reelection of Robert Mugabe, it is alleged that dead voters accounted for one-third of the voter rolls, that 63 constituencies had more registered voters than actual inhabitants even though 2 million potential voters under 30 went unregistered. The elections have left many asking if biometrics are the future of voting.
CGD vice president for corporate affairs and senior fellow Todd Moss testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs about U.S. policy toward Zimbabwe. He urged members of the committee to support democratic elements of Zimbabwe’s government without aiding corrupt forces in the country.
Zimbabwe faces a daunting array of obstacles to full economic recovery, including a crippling external debt burden. Todd Moss and Benjamin Leo urge that the current government must address the legacy of debt arrears and manage external debt in order to generate opportunities for reconstruction and growth.