The risk of an explosion that could cost thousands of lives in the country and shatter the stability of Southern Africa is growing in Zimbabwe. Political reform is blocked, and virtually every economic indicator continues to trend downward. Inflation, poverty and malnutrition are growing more acute. Party and civil society opponents of President Mugabe’s government are yet to tap effectively into the living-standards-based dissatisfaction but it could finally become the spark that sets Zimbabwe toward change. The course is risky but Zimbabwe’s splintered opposition needs to come together to formulate a campaign of non-violent resistance that channels this anger and frustration into pressure on Mugabe to keep his word to retire by 2008 and on his ruling ZANU-PF party to negotiate seriously on a transition. The international community, long frustrated at its inability to influence the crisis, should assist, especially by tightening targeted sanctions (U.S./EU) and offering mediation services (South Africa). A sense of paralysis hangs over the country. ZANU-PF, which in any event has nothing in its recent history to suggest it is capable of producing constructive policies, is gridlocked. Mugabe has manipulated the succession contest within it to keep the competing factions dependent on his favour and to neuter the dissatisfaction with his stewardship that is increasingly visible even among its members. Senior government, party and security officials exploit exchange rates to strip rapidly dwindling national assets