Basic information about the territory
- System of governance and political tendencies in the country
- Foreign policy of the country
The system of governance and political tendencies in the country
Official name of the country: Republic of Zimbabwe (Republic of Zimbabwe)
Politically, Zimbabwe is a unitary republic with a presidential system. It is a bicameral political system, with the lower house (National Assembly) consisting of 270 members and the upper house (Senate) having 80 members. The government, chaired by the president, is responsible to the lower house of parliament. 210 members of the lower house are elected in single-member constituencies based on the majority system and 60 women are elected based on the proportional system (6 women for each province). Of the 80 seats in the Senate, 60 are elected by the proportional electoral system, 18 seats belong to traditional chiefs: the president and vice-chairman of the National Council of Chiefs and each two chiefs from eight provinces (except the two metropolitan provinces of Harare and Bulawayo) and 2 seats belong to the disabled. The electoral term of both chambers is 5 years. Check cancermatters to learn more about Zimbabwe political system.
Zimbabwe’s political system is unfree according to the Freedom House index. All power is held by President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his party ZANU-PF, the political opposition, independent media and civil society are suppressed by all means. The next regular presidential and parliamentary elections are to take place in 2023, and it can be expected that domestic political tensions will continue to escalate until then, incl. demonstrations that are violently suppressed by the government regime.
The economic crisis continues in the country. The military is restless, the president continues to strengthen his control over all branches of the state, unprecedentedly suppressing the rights and freedoms of any (even perceived) opponents and blaming the West and unnamed dark forces and terrorist opposition. The high rate of inflation and the associated decline in living standards lead to frequent strikes by state employees (medical staff, teachers, etc.). The COVID-19 pandemic served the president to announce restrictions on free movement, a ban on political meetings and demonstrations, and the inability to operate most offices. Zimbabwean human rights organizations point to very frequent cases of police willfulness, including hundreds of cases of kidnapping.
Foreign policy of the country
Relations with Western countries remain negative. US and UK economic and banking sanctions remain on Zimbabwe.
The European Union is one of Zimbabwe’s largest trading partners and donors, and has a more favorable attitude towards the country than the US. On the other hand, the EU regularly publicly criticizes human rights violations in the country, arrests of journalists and opposition representatives, etc. Mutual relations continue to be complicated by the issue of “sanctions”. The EU is gradually relaxing its measures and currently the Union maintains only an arms embargo and restrictive measures only affect the Zimbabwe Defense Industry. Although these measures have only minimal impact on the country’s economy, Zimbabwe and SADC often use the issue to criticize the EU. Through the topic of “sanctions”, Zimbabwe blames the EU and the US for the country’s current economic situation, but this is more of a topic for the domestic audience. However, the arms embargo and restrictive measures do not interfere with the implementation of the EPA agreement (Zimbabwe signed the interim agreement in 2009) and Zimbabwe’s access to the European market. Relations between the Czech Republic and Zimbabwe remain sporadic. Check prozipcodes for Zimbabwe defense and foreign policy.
The surrounding countries do not express much in relation to the events in Zimbabwe. On the other hand, relations between Zimbabwe and South Africa have been deteriorating recently. Zimbabwe burdens the South African economy with tens of thousands of economic migrants fleeing the misery of their home country, which, especially in times of economic and epidemiological crisis, meant an unpleasant burden for the South African government.
Zimbabwe has ratified the Tripartite Free Trade Area (COMESA, SADC and EAC joint zone) as well as the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). Zimbabwe is a member of the SADC Free Trade Area.
Recently, President Mnangagwa has been curtailing his foreign travels, probably out of fear of escalating the situation in domestic politics. Apart from economic diplomacy and strikes against sanctions, Zimbabwe’s role in international politics remains rather passive.
Population: 1million (2022 estimate)
Population density: 39/km2
Annual population growth: 1.9%.
- 0-14 years: 38.3%
- 15-24 years: 20.2%
- 25-54 years: 32.9%
- 55-64 years: 4.0%
- 65 and over: 4.6%
Zimbabwe’s population is made up of 98% indigenous African tribal groups (82% Shona, 12% Ndebele, 2% other ethnicities), 1% mixed race and less than 1% white. The official language of Zimbabwe used to be only English, but the current constitution recognizes 16 official languages (in addition to the predominant Shona, Ndebele and English, all minority languages and sign language). Shona is actively used by about 70% of the population and Sindebele by 30%. English is spoken by the majority of the population even in rural areas.