Following the breakup of the Central African Federation in 1963, Britain granted independence to its former colonies, Northern Rhodesia, which became Zambia, and Nyasaland now Malawi. Southern Rhodesia declared a Unilateral Declaration of Independence under Ian Douglas Smith and majority rule only coming in 1980.
In the 2000s Zimbabwe’s economy began to deteriorate due to various factors, including mismanagement, corruption and the imposition of economic sanctions by western countries following the chaotic land reform in which former white farm owners were violently replaced by black peasants.
As the country struggled without prospect of recovery, citizens began forming social movements to fight for constitutional and political reforms. With the formation of the National Constitutional Assembly, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, Save Zimbabwe Campaign and later on This Flag, Zimbabwe Yadzoka and Tajamuka/Sesijikile, Zimbabweans continued to pile pressure on Zanu PF to deliver on its promises.
Calls for President Robert Mugabe to step down intensified with countless demonstrations being held in major cities in Zimbabwe. On the other hand, Zanu PF tightened its grip on power by introducing draconian laws such as the Public Order and Security Act, Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act which according to opposition movements were meant to protect President Mugabe’s hold on to the Presidency.
Besides draconian laws, the Zanu PF regime reacted with brutality against impoverished masses merely exercising their constitutional right to protest against the government’s failure to revive the economy and create the 2,2 million jobs promised by the ruling party in its 2013 election manifesto.
The result of government’s brutality was a series of arrests, torture and abduction of civic society and opposition activists as well as ordinary Zimbabweans.
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition has once referred to 2017 as hard times, urging Zimbabweans to brace for it.
In a statement sent to the media recently, CiZC noted that most Zimbabweans suffered a lot in 2016, hoping for a change in 2017 but the situation seems to promise more hard times ahead.
“THE year 2016 proved to be a tough one for the majority of Zimbabweans who were definitely hoping for the best but certainly got the worst. A spiraling unemployment rate as a result of company closures and lack of Foreign Direct Investments relegated many Zimbabweans into abject poverty.
“The few remaining companies could not afford to pay their workers on time due to a liquidity crunch as well as low production levels. Policy inconsistency and failure to put in place investor friendly policies meant that the Zimbabwean economy, suffering from the much needed Foreign Direct Investments continued on a free fall,” reads part of the statement.
CIZC went on to blame the ruling party on worsening the economic challenges by ‘looting state resources.
Harare, the capital is flooded with vendors operating from every street corner, creating tension between the traders and City Council as most of them sell their wares from unregulated spots.
Vending has now become the business of the city in Zimbabwe.
According to Economic analyst, Christopher Mugaga who is also Chief Executive Officer of the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce, ever since the country attained its independence the economy has been disappointing.
“Since 1980, the country’s economy has been disappointing and only 150 formal jobs have been created since then,” said Mugaga while he was speaking at a 2day national CSOs conference held in Harare under the banner of Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition in Harare last year.
He also put the blame on the introduction of local currency.
“Dollarization has become a thorn in the flesh to the Zimbabwean economy and also the relationship between ZIMASSET and the 2017 budget which was proposed by Minister of Finance, Patrick Chinamasa.”