Zimbabwe's crisis: seeking a solution.

 
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The Day After Mugabe Prospects for Change in Zimbabwe

Africa Research Institute

ISBN 978-1-906329-00-6

This book, we are told in the introduction, is not a partisan project. Rather, the book's stated objective is to assess the prospects for lasting positive change in Zimbabwe, a country once seen as one of Africa's most vibrant and promising economies but which now suffers rocketing inflation, plunging incomes, and the loss of political and economic direction.

Published by the Africa Research Institute in close co-operation with the Royal African Society, Royal Commonwealth Society and International Bar Association, according to its own description, The Day after Mugabe considers Zimbabwe's current crisis from diverse perspectives--as seen from Harare, Pretoria, London, Washington and Beijing. In general, the contents could best be described as less an anti-Mugabe diatribe than a debate that is supportive of the Zimbabwean peoples as a whole.

Some of the chapters previously appeared in South Africa's Mail & Guardian newspaper. They ask questions such as what will become of the ruling Zanu PF party when President Robert Mugabe is no longer at the helm; whether the divided Movement for Democratic Change can recover to mount a credible challenge either in opposition or as part of a unity government; how has industry survived and what opportunities lie ahead; what steps can--and should--the country's neighbours take to prepare this year's parliamentary and presidential elections; and what effect has Zimbabwe's crisis had on the new African institutions created to bolster democracy and good governance?

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Zimbabwe and the Commonwealth

Shortly after this book was published in November 2007, Commonwealth Heads of Government met in Kampala, Uganda at their biennial summit (Chogm). While there was much speculation as to what exactly would be discussed at the leaders' private summit at the Munyonyo resort on Lake Victoria, most observers believed that Pakistan would probably top the agenda.

Yet there is little doubt that the issues surrounding Zimbabwe's crisis would also exercise the thoughts of the assembled leaders. A dozen of the 14 Southern Africa Development Community member states are, in fact, Commonwealth members and even as 2007's Chogm met, the ghosts of Chogms past were stirring. Nearly 30 years ago, in 1979, Chogm was hosted by Zambia in that country's capital Lusaka, and the meeting formulated a strategy to end...

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