US Policy Responses to Zimbabwe’s Illusory Reforms

December 06, 2018

Todd Moss testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health Policy at a hearing titled “Zimbabwe After the Elections” on December 6, 2018.

From the testimony:

After nearly thirty years of working on and in Zimbabwe, I was hopeful, after the long nightmare of misrule by Robert Mugabe, that the July 2018 election was an opportunity to put the country on a positive track. I had the good fortune of visiting Zimbabwe with a delegation of former US diplomats prior to the election to assess conditions. I came away from that trip deeply pessimistic about the prospects for a free, fair, and credible election, unconvinced that economic reforms were real, and skeptical of the intentions of Emmerson Mnangagwa and the ruling ZANU-PF. It all appeared little more than a poorly-disguised charade.

Events since the election have only reinforced that pessimism. We have heard lots of rhetoric on democracy, national reconciliation, and economic reform. We can point to a few token gestures of change. But below the surface, very little, if any, meaningful structural change has occurred. ZANUPF, the party which has ruled the country for the past 38 years, continues to behave like a military junta in denial about the serious challenges it faces.

Rights & Permissions

You may use and disseminate CGD’s publications under these conditions.