Economic Focus – Violence in Zimbabwe, Post Election Crisis

According to a trade union official, some 10,000 farm-workers and their families have fled their homes because of Zimbabwean election violence. According to BBC (8 May 2008), a newspaper editor and a lawyer have also been arrested.

An announcement last Friday stated that Mr Tsvangirai had won the popular vote. However, he did not break the 50% barrier of votes needed to declare him the winner.

The rural farm workers in Zimbabwe are now being accused that they have voted for the opposition. As of now, they are being targeted and attacked by a group of militias wearing army uniforms. The army, not surprisingly, has denied allegations that it is in any way involved in the violence.

In recent years, much of the political violence has been centered on white-owned farms (all but 400 of these have been seized by the state and redistributed).

Before the seizure of white-owned farms in 2000, they were some 4,000 white farmers in Zimbabwe (employing 200,000 people). As violence continues to escalate, Zimbabwean citizens continue to see a bleak future.

Facts – BBC

  • Full name: Republic of Zimbabwe
  • Population: 13.3 million (UN, 2007)
  • Capital: Harare
  • Area: 390,759 sq km (150,873 sq miles)
  • Major language: English (official), Shona, Sindebele
  • Major religions: Christianity, indigenous beliefs
  • Life expectancy: 44 years (men), 43 years (women) (UN)
  • Monetary unit: 1 Zimbabwe dollar = 100 cents
  • Main exports: Tobacco, cotton, agricultural products, gold, minerals
  • GNI per capita: US $340 (World Bank, 2006)
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