Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Politics, President, Violence, Elections, People, Community, Human, Crisis

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2020/10/24

The country of Zimbabwe got involved in drastic political turmoil as a result of the elections for the new president of the country, which were held in 2 stages on 29th March and 27th June 2008. The party opposing the existing President Robert Mugabe, was known as the Movement for Democratic Change or MDC, it faced severe terror attacks and a violent campaign from the existing president’s party. The MDC and its supporters were subject to terror attackers as the days of the presidential elections loomed nearer. Forced vanishing of people, physical and sexual abuse and torture were the violations of human rights carried out openly, with sponsorship from the state during that time. Even though President Mugabe won the elections of the June session, yet his reign of terror attacks on his opposition did not cease to exist. The African Union as well as the United Nation issued responses to the violations but no heed was taken and thus there did not exist any effective implementation of solutions to resolve the crisis at hand. There was a lot of condemnation of the attacks by various groups of civil society which included the likes of International Crisis Group as well as Human Rights Watch; there condemnation was swift and serious against the various oppressions and abuse of human rights by the government of Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe African National Union, Patriotic Front or ZANU-PF was the party of the existing President Mugabe which was involved in all sorts of violence in politics even though the Global Political Agreement established a unity administration by signing the said agreement but the situation continued to be dangerous as ever as the implementation of the reforms for politics was not carried out efficiently.

After the year 2000 Zimbabwe government and officials has released acts of unimaginable terror and violence against thousands of the habitants of the country but the main targets of these oppressions were the workers and supporters of the opposing party along with aid workers. Sexual abuse, captivity, forced vanishing of people; killings and torture were all included in the violations of human rights carried out in Zimbabwe during this time. The national health system of Zimbabwe along with the economy of the country faced a serious decline due to the inefficient government policies implemented by the existing President Robert Mugabe. The monetary policy were a failure, the currency faced severe depreciation, there was uncontrollable corruption along with illegal seizure of land, these were all the failed policies which resulted in the once thriving sector of agriculture in Zimbabwe to face severe devastation at the hand of the Mugabe government and lead the country to an economic crash which resulted in approximately 80% of the population without jobs and facing a severe hyper inflation reign which estimated to be around 231 million percent. Most specifically the policy of illicit seizure of land from hardworking and deserving farmers to the incompetent supporters of Mugabe along with the displacement of approximately one million people resulted in the drastic failure of the farms. This internally displaced people crisis and the failure of the farms resulted in a severe shortage of resources which left the country with little food, welfare or even the capability to get healthcare. This resulted in large number of medical people to flee the country rapidly, the sanitation facilities were a big failure along with an almost global poverty which resulted in a dramatic augmentation in the rates of mortality as well as spread of diseases.
There were various epidemics, the most serious of these being the epidemic of cholera which started in the month of August in 2007 and the horrible disease resulted in the death of around 4000 people and more than 90,000 people were severely ill but had very restricted access to healthcare as well as limited humanitarian assistance. There was also a big looming threat that this disease would spread its wings in the entire African region. ZANU-PF diverted most of the resources, either physical or financial, that it possessed from efficient healthcare and public care facilities towards the sustainment of its illegal reign and selfish agendas while the supporters of its opponent: MDC faced serious repression. This has been acknowledged as the simplest cause identified by the Human Rights Watch as the reason for the epidemic.

Violence After the 2008 Elections

There were a run-off elections for the post of the President in June, however before the elections took place, the security officials along with the people of the ZANU-PF released uncontrollable terror, which included terror, killings as well as torture directed not just towards the active opponents but also journalist, people working at the polling stations, officials working in the public sector, civil officials and even normal residents of the country who were suspected of voting in favor of the opposition party i.e. Movement for Democratic Change or MDC. The violence reached an unthinkable time when President Mugabe lost the elections for presidency held in the month of March 2008. He allowed the state to carry out unthinkable terror and violence towards the countrymen. Leaders and proponents of the opposing party had to face violations of human rights which included torture, rape, damage as well as beatings. The runoff elections carried out in June were considered a sham and Mugabe even though won these elections yet regular in addition to random captivity as well detention and forced vanishing of people continued to happen. The ZANU-PF was fully utilizing uncontrollable oppression to supports its illicit rise to power and authority.
There were three different types of responses towards the crisis. The response from the civil society was garnered by the members of the civil society, activists of human rights, religious groups as well as the students of Africa. They formed a coalition which comprised of 105 people who drafted a communiqué, which talked about the implementation of RtoP and thus asked the international community for an appropriate response towards the violence. The condemnation by the civil society was very strong and the question was answered through the drafting of the communiqué of whether the violence could actually come up to the level of RtoP. The communiqué also asked for the global society to provide efficient aid as well as sufficient employment to the people of Zimbabwe. There was a lot of personal risk attached with the denouncing of the rule of Mugabe and his violence against the citizens of Zimbabwe by these very citizens of Zimbabwe. They put themselves at risk to give away relevant information regarding the real effects of the crisis and its impact in the country. In the initial days of December 2008, a group of prominent senior activists of human rights known as the Elders decided to come on a mission to find relevant facts and draft a report to be given to the UN Security Council. This group included the likes of ex Secretary General of the UN Kofi Annan, the wife of Nelson Mandela Graca Machel as well as ex President of the United States of America Jimmy Carter. However, the Zimbabwean authorities did not allow them the access to the country by rejecting their visa applications. This stopped the civil society along with the help of the global community to evaluate or interrupt the mass violations of human rights and oppression of the country. The scenario in the country of Zimbabwe remained as dangerous as ever, even after 2 years, as shown by the reports and presentations by organizations of the civil society which included the likes of groups like International Crisis Group as well as Human Rights Watch. The Human Rights Watch presented a report titled “Zimbabwe: One Year On, Reform a Failure” which clearly told that ZANU-PF did not cease its terror-ridden campaign towards the members of the opposition in addition to making no accountable success in their political reign. The organization spoke stringently against the ongoing violence and demanded that the government sets up a framework of election which would be required to carry out fair elections.
The response by the region i.e. the other African countries was lukewarm. Even though the Heads of State of the continent did condemn Mugabe’s reign and did ask to let go of his presidency however it wasn’t on time. The African Union went as far as to not even question the right of the tyrant to represent Zimbabwe at the AU summit held in 2008 in Egypt. In this very summit the president of Tanzania Jakaya Kikwete, who was the chair of the summit, had the audacity to actually refer to the elections as “historic”. The AU was late in condemning the violence in Zimbabwe and delayed presenting the report to SADC or South African Development Community. However, the way that SADC responded was also highly criticized as they just opted for quiet diplomacy along with efforts to mediate the situation by the president of South Africa.
The International community did not play its part too well. The UN was constantly monitoring the situation but they were not successful in taking efficient measures to prevent the violence. In April 2008 European Union President released a declaration which talked about the concerns of the EU towards the violence. Later in 2009 the President also released sanction against not just Mugabe but also his main aides because they failed to provide the basic social as well economic requirements of their people. Ever since the crisis took place in the country of Zimbabwe, the entire international community did not cease denouncing their discontent of the abuse of human rights in the country. There existed a group which had the World Bank. United Nations, African Development Bank as well as various states which also comprised of the United States of America, this group known as the Friends of Zimbabwe, released a declaration in the month of December in 2010, which talked about the solemn concern, in regards to the fortification of the basic rights of humans, the implication of the law, administration as well as the reverence for the accord. In addition to that the group, Friends of Zimbabwe, asked the administration of Zimbabwe to put into practice required reforms which would result in the carrying out free, fair as well as unrigged presidential elections in the country of Zimbabwe.


Bourne, Richard. Catastrophe : what went wrong in Zimbabwe? London ; New York: Zed Books ; New York : Distributed in the USA exclusively by Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.
Chikuhwa, Jacob W. A crisis of governance : Zimbabwe. New York: Algora Pub, 2004.
Derman, William and Randi Kaarhus. In the shadow of a conflict : crisis in Zimbabwe and Its effects in Mozambique, South Africa and Zambia. Harare : Weaver Press, 2013.
Kansteiner, Walter H. "Zimbabwe's Political and Economic Crisis ." June 2001. US Department of State Archive. http://2001-2009.state.gov/p/af/rls/rm/2001/3949.htm. January 2015.
Shizha, Edward and Michael T. Kariwo. Education and development in Zimbabwe : a social, political and economic analysis. Rotterdam : SensePublishers, 2011.

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WePapers. (2020, October, 24) Example Of History Essay: Zimbabwe. Retrieved May 22, 2022, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/example-of-history-essay/
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Example Of History Essay: Zimbabwe. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/example-of-history-essay/. Published Oct 24, 2020. Accessed May 22, 2022.

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