Zimbabwe Economic Policy
After political independence in 1980, the ZANU government initially propagated a welfare state and protectionist economic policy. It had taken over a comparatively developed and at the same time very unequal economic system from the Rhodesian settler regime. This was offset somewhat by extensive government spending and minimum wages. Despite the great interest shown by foreign investors in Zimbabwe as an industrial location, bureaucratic hurdles made it difficult for companies and factories to establish themselves. Independent Zimbabwean entrepreneurs have also been hindered for political reasons. Government-oriented corporate governance, rural development and control over the rural population were priorities for the state planners. Economic policy and their economic consequences since 1980 are well documented. National development plans determined economic policy between 1980 and 1995: a transition plan 1983-1985 was followed by the first five-year plan, which was valid until 1990. Economic structural adjustment programs were decided and implemented as early as the second five-year plan.
In 1991 the government approved the introduction of economic structural adjustment programs (ESAP) by the International Monetary Fund (IMF / IMF). So she wanted to secure access to credit. However, the IMF requirements to reduce government spending had fatal consequences for the health and education sectors. Access to medical care and education deteriorated, especially for poor families. Additional social programs that were introduced could not cushion this. The private sector and industry also suffered from ESAP. The Zimbabwe Program for Economic and Social Transformation (ZIMPREST) was partly based on the ESAP approach, but also included collectively agreed wages and selective price controls. The economic decline was not stopped, but accelerated from 2000.
The economic programs did not change anything in the following decade, i.e. the Millennium Economic Recovery Program (2001-2002), the National Economic Revival Program (2003), the Macro-Economic Policy Framework (2005-2006), the National Economic Development Priority Program (2007), the Short-Term Economic Recovery Program I (2009–2010) and the Short-Term Economic Recovery Program II (2010–2012).
According to hyperrestaurant, the unity government in 2009 was only able to partially reverse the trend. After the 2013 elections, which again brought the ZANU-PF a victory, it introduced the Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZimAsset). Critical analyzes document numerous economic and party political reasons for the lack of success of this 5-year program. Economic recovery programs terminated at short notice, around 2015, did not help. The World Bank and the Zimbabwean government publish on expenditure and the importance of (para) state companies for the national economy. The economic misery was also a topic in the context of the elections at the end of July 2018, where structural problems and expectations were discussed. To what extent postulated realignments under President Emmerson Mnangagwa are exploring economists. Human rights organizations point to violent repression, which also affects economic plans and developments. The Transitional Stabilization Program is valid from 2018 to 2020. In February 2020 a “Blueprint” of the National Development Strategy 1 & 2 publicly put up for discussion by the finance minister; which are valid for 5 years from January 2021. The final National Development Strategy 1 was published in November 2020.
During the Cold War, Zimbabwe was one of the non-aligned countries. In the African (AU), Mugabe was still considered a liberator – although he never fought in the war of independence; on the other hand, some AU members also criticize the politically motivated excesses of violence since 2000. Critics also denounced his reference to pan-Africanism. The SADC put little pressure on Mugabe; South Africa acted repeatedly as an observer and diplomatic mediator.
In August 2012, the SADC tribunal ceased to be responsible for the justice of human rights violations. In 2008 it condemned the land expropriations of three farmers as violating human rights. The Mugabe government did not recognize this judgment.
The Federal Foreign Office provides information about Germany’s relations with Zimbabwe, and the German embassy in Harare also provides some information on diplomatic contacts. The EU broke off and imposed sanctions on foreign policy relations with Zimbabwe in 2002; in 2009 they were tightened. In 2012, as well as in early 2013 and February 2014, there were easing performed. Diplomatic talks were resumed selectively as early as 2009. In July 2008, a UN Security Council resolution failed in view of the excesses of violence in Zimbabwe against South Africa and the veto powers Russia and China. President Mugabe has orientated himself towards China since the War of Independence, the diamond discoveries created a basis for trade relations, agreements on credit and political and military connections. There is much controversy about the changeful foreign policy of the former colonial power Great Britain towards Zimbabwe.
South Africa is particularly affected by the longstanding political and economic problems in Zimbabwe, because many people fled and migrated to the neighboring country and their current number is also only estimated.