After years of sanctions and hesitation among private investors, Zimbabweans hope a fresh era with a new president will attract jobs to their country. If a July 30 election is viewed as free and fair, the rest of the world is much more likely to view Zimbabwe as a potentially lucrative destination for investment, analysts say.
Under former President Robert Mugabe, who was ousted from office in November after nearly four decades of authoritarian rule, Zimbabwe’s economy fell apart so badly that economists today are challenged even to calculate the country’s astronomical unemployment rate. With structural problems and long-standing friction between the country’s major population groups, presidential candidates and citizens alike are wondering how to address the persistent lack of jobs.
Despite an extensive policy platform and a resume including a stint as deputy prime minister, much of the public attention on the presidential candidacy of Thokozani Khupe has focused on her identity. She’s Ndebele and a woman, and both of those make her an outlier in Zimbabwe’s public life – as well as a target.
Ambrose Mutinhiri is angling to be the heir to ousted President Robert Mugabe, but to prove his loyalty, he had to leave the party Mugabe that led for decades. Mutinhiri says Mugabe has rewarded that loyalty with his support. Now, he hopes Zimbabweans will reward him with their votes.
A gender parity quota for Mexican elections has resulted in many “fake positions” among municipalities in Chiapas that operate through indigenous self-determination. Constitutionally-elected women often serve only as figureheads for men elected by traditional customs.
People in Indian-administered Kashmir are following India’s ongoing general elections closely, since the outcome may have a direct impact on their state’s semi-autonomous status. But fear of losing that status isn’t enough to bring many of them to the polls.
Doubts about Zimbabwe’s July 30 elections drove many opposition supporters into the streets to protest, and the military promptly cracked down on the unrest. The bullets fired on those days have left lasting damage.
Fear of change, as well as a legendarily corrupt political system, will challenge Sam Lyomoki, a member of the nation’s ruling party. His proposals include a streamlining of Parliament and assurances of public access to health, education and utilities.
Zimbabwe is readying for the country’s first post-Mugabe elections, and plenty of new parties have sprung up to compete. There’s just one problem: The parties are having trouble finding money to join the race.