Zimbabwe: Stranded in Stasis

For over fifteen years, Zimbabwe has been trapped in a political and economic crisis of varying intensity. Political dynamics, compounded by massive debt, policy incoherence and low domestic and international confidence, frustrate economic recovery. The few positive trends do little to improve the lot of most citizens or provide confidence in processes to build a constitutionally-rooted social contract. Efforts to develop and support reforms are tempered by the nonagenarian president’s incumbency. Lack of leadership, combined with infighting across the political spectrum, but especially within ZANU-PF, has complicated and further blunted the ability to address multiple challenges. External support, from both West and East, as well as regionally, is essential to aid recovery but can be of only limited benefit if promised political and economic reforms are not implemented.