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Report: Repression Intensifying in Zimbabwe As Old Guard, Military in Firm Control


FILE: A Zimbabwean soldier beats a man in a street of Harare on August 1, 2018 as protests erupted over alleged fraud in the country's election. (AFP)

A report just released by an organization based in USA indicates that there won’t be any visible reforms in Zimbabwe in the next few years as the old guard and military are still firmly in control, more than two years after the late former president Robert Mugabe was toppled in a defacto coup.

According to the Rand Corporation’s findings following dozens of interviews last year in Zimbabwe, “although Mnangagwa has deployed flowery reform rhetoric, his administration's piecemeal actions belie any movement toward genuine political or economic reform.”

The Rand Corporation, which is a non-profit research group, claims that repression has increased in Zimbabwe and the economy continues to sink.

It says with the old guard and military still firmly in power — and both benefiting from “perches atop the highly cartelized and patronage-based economy” — genuine reform is unlikely in the next one to three years under present conditions in Zimbabwe.

The organization says there is need for significant political and economic reforms in the southern African nation if it has to recover from what it calls years of mismanagement, corruption, and state violence.

The Rand Corporation is urging international actors, including the United States, to push the Zimbabwean government in a coordinated fashion so that the country can implement genuine political, economic, and security reforms.

The Rand Corporation reveals in the report, titled ‘A New Zimbabwe: Assessing Continuity and Change After Mugabe’, that “even where limited progress has been made, such steps appear to be largely cosmetic.”

Zimbabwe’s Deputy Information Minister Energy Mutodi dismissed the report as a “senseless document designed to undermine President Mnangagwa’s government.”

Zanu PF Central Committee member, Joseph Tshuma, says the Rand Corporation’s report is not surprising.

Zanu PF Blasts Rand Corporation for Compiling Blistering Report on Zimbabwe
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But Thabitha Khumalo, chairperson of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change led by Nelson Chamisa, says the Rand Corporation got it right on the current political, economic and security situation in Zimbabwe.

MDC Commends Rand Corporation For Compiling 'Precise' Report on Zimbabwe
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