Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

IWPR Africa Covers Unfolding Crisis in Zimbabwe

By IWPR
  • President Robert Mugabe at a press conference. (Photo: IWPR)
    President Robert Mugabe at a press conference. (Photo: IWPR)
  • A boy waits to be given water purification tablets at a Harare clinic. (Photo: IWPR)
    A boy waits to be given water purification tablets at a Harare clinic. (Photo: IWPR)

The past six months have been some of the most turbulent in Zimbabwe’s history.

In March, the opposition party Movement for Democratic Chance, MDC, won a majority in parliamentary elections with 109 seats to ZANU-PF’s 97. According to official results, MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai garnered 47.9 votes to Mugabe’s 43.2 in the presidential election held at the same time – just short of the 50 per cent required by law to avoid a run-off.

Following the election, a campaign of violence was unleashed across the country by ZANU-PF supporters and so-called war veterans against civilians, in an apparent attempt to punish those who did not vote for Mugabe and his party.

As the political turmoil continues, life for Zimbabweans continues to deteriorate.

President Robert Mugabe then stood unopposed in a July run-off, after Tsvangirai withdrew citing violence against his supporters.

Two months later, a power-sharing deal was signed by Mugabe and Tsvangirai following negotiations chaired by former South African president Thabo Mbeki.

Under the deal, signed on September 15, Mugabe remained president and Tsvangirai became prime minister, in charge of a cabinet of ministers responsible for running the country. Control of the country’s ministries was then to be divided up between the two parties.

However, according to the latest reports, the political rivals have reached an impasse in talks, after disagreeing over which party should control key ministries, particular that of home affairs.

As the political turmoil continues, life for Zimbabweans continues to deteriorate.

Inflation is more than 11 million per cent. A crumbling infrastructure has left parts of the country without basic services, including water and electricity, and people are going hungry as a result of ongoing food and money shortages.

All this time, IWPR has continued to provide coverage of the deteriorating political and social conditions in the country.

The project’s trainees – writing under pseudonyms and at great risk to their personal safety – have followed the unfolding political and economic crisis.

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