From 12 December 1979 to 17 April 1980 Zimbabwe Rhodesia was a British colony of Southern Rhodesia became the independent Republic of Zimbabwe on 18th April. Before independence, Zimbabwe had been recognized by several names- Rhodesia, Southern Rhodesia, and Zimbabwe Rhodesia.
Robert Mugabe was elected as the first Prime Minister of Zimbabwe. There were several improvements, like in 1992, a study by the World Bank specified that more than 500 health centers had been built since 1980. The percentage of children vaccinated increased to 67% in 1988.
Life expectancy increased from 55 to 59 years. In a year, enrolment increased by 232% after primary education was declared free. In 2 years, enrolment increased by 33% in secondary school. He also introduced various social policies for benefit of people due to which the debt ratio increased.
Mugabe resigned from his post in 1987, an amendment was made in the constitution and the office of prime minister was abolished. In 1990, Mugabe was appointed as president.
Zimbabwe began experiencing political and economic destruction in 1999. So, opposition to President Mugabe and the ZANU-PF government grew after the mid-1990s. The main reason was the worsening of economic and human rights that brought about capture of land owned by white farmers and economic penalty imposed by western countries in response. Also, a new opposition party, Movement Of Democratic Change was established in September 1999.
Presidential elections were held in March 2002. ZANU-PF won with the support of the army. Mugabe won the elections despite international criticism and measures. Also, the US and EU imposed limited penalties against Mugabe.
Since the 2002 elections, Zimbabwe suffered economic difficulty and political confusion.
The government began operation Murambatsvina in May 2005 intending to rid urban areas of illegal activities, crimes, etc. The UN estimates around 70,000 people were homeless as a result. Thousands of families were unsafe in the middle of winter.
The government was not functioning properly. Also, Human Rights Watch said the expulsion derailed treatment for people with HIV/AIDS, and around 3,000 die from diseases each week and 1.3 million children had been orphaned.
The early months of 2006 were noticed by food shortages and mass hunger. Malnutrition also increased. The economy shrunk by 50% from 2000 to 2009. The inflation rate increased 8000%, it was noted as the world’s highest inflation in 2007. Harare’s water became untrustworthy in 2006 as a result of dysentery and cholera in December 2006 and January 2007. Unemployment increased to 60%. Earlier, Zimbabwe used to be one of the richest countries of Africa, now it’s one of the poorest.
By 2009, there was hyper-inflation to 500 billion percent under the Mugabe government. So, to revive from this inflation, Zimbabwe’s currency was rapidly devalued in 2009. Then, Zimbabwe used the US dollar as a currency, and the economy improved to 10% per year. Zimbabwe has a 1 hundred trillion dollars note.
By 2016, the economy collapsed and there were nationwide protests. Also, cash became scarce in the market in the year 2017. A new president Emmerson Mnangagwa was elected in 2019.
In January 2019 price of fuel 130% increased due to the policy imposed by the government. There were massive protests and poverty increased. By mid-July 2019 inflation again increased to 175%.
Due to this pandemic, the condition got worst and Zimbabwe’s government says at least 7.6 million people will fall into poverty. The poor policies of the government pushed inflation to the worst level. Due to lockdown and improper treatment many people died due to hunger, also food shortages increased.
In 2020, 63% of the population went into poverty and 23% of children have stunted growth. The scarcity of fuel and cornmeal increased.
As per my opinion, the government should control inflation by contractionary monetary policy. In this policy government reduces the rates bond, people will invest and they will get the interest and hence inflation will be controlled. As people will give the money to the government and after some time people will get interested.
Another method can be, if the government has enough money, they could import more goods, so that the goods are abundant and hence, there will be deflation. The main point is that government needs strict action to improve its economy. The government should provide social benefits to improve the state of the people. The government should convince the prime minister of other countries so that unemployment can be reduced.