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Zimbabwe

Yearbook 2001

2001 ZimbabweZimbabwe. A year-long, violent state campaign ahead of the 2002 presidential election drove Zimbabwe inexorably toward economic collapse and international freezing. President Robert Mugabe's regime replaced free-thinking judges against regime-loyal jurists, harassed and threatened journalists and let "war veterans" - in effect the ZANU-PF armed branch of the ruling party - attack companies, hospitals and aid organizations and demand them "damages" for dismissed staff. Foreign embassies were threatened with acts of violence and were told that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not guarantee them any protection.

2001 Zimbabwe

According to Countryaah, the government announced that virtually all around 6,000 white-owned farms would be expropriated. Around 1,700 farms were occupied by "war veterans" for more than a year. President Mugabe issued a decree in November that gave the state the right to evict white landowners without prior judicial review. In addition, a law on the largest allowable area for agriculture was introduced, which was expected to result in the forced cutting of most farms owned by whites. This was thought to pose a serious threat to food production in a country where half a million residents were starving. The government banned private organizations from distributing food to the needy, as all NGOs were suspected of engaging in government-hostile propaganda.

At a meeting in Nigeria in September with foreign ministers from the Commonwealth, Zimbabwe promised to stop the land occupations, restore law and order, respect freedom of speech and intervene in violence and threats. In return, the Commonwealth promised financial support for a fair land reform. However, the "war veterans" dismissed the settlement and the state almost immediately broke all promises. Among other things, a law on compulsory licensing for journalists was envisaged, which was expected to make free news reporting impossible and exclude all foreign reporters.

Relations with the outside world were further cooled by the government's refusal to allow foreign oversight of the presidential election in 2002, when Robert Mugabe is running for a new six-year term. Almost all foreign aid is withdrawn because of the political violence on the part of the state power and partly the financial neglect. The International Monetary Fund suspended all credit since Zimbabwe slipped by more than US $ 50 million in repayments. Zimbabwe found it difficult to get supplies of fuel and electricity after missing payments, the foreign exchange reserve was almost depleted and the inflation rate was up 98% in December. Food and tobacco production fell by 25% during the year and GDP fell by 7.3%.

In December, the usually high-court Supreme Court-appointed court judge ruled that the land reform program was legal. However, HD dismissed the charge against opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai for terrorism and sabotage. He was prosecuted for saying in a speech in 2000 that Mugabe should resign before being driven away from power by force. The result will allow Tsvangirai to run for office in the 2002 presidential election.

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