State structure and political system of Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe is a republic with broad presidential powers. The 1979 Constitution is in force, as amended in 1987. Administratively, Zimbabwe is divided into 8 provinces and 2 cities with the status of provinces (Manicaland, Mashonaland East, Mashonaland West, Mashonaland Central, Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South, Midlands, Masvingo, Harare, Bulawayo ). The largest cities: Harare, Bulawayo.
The head of state is the president, who is elected in a general election for a term of 6 years. If only one candidate is nominated for the presidency, then he is elected not by the population, but by the deputies of parliament. The highest legislative body is the parliament (house of assembly), consisting of 150 deputies, 120 of whom are elected in general elections, 12 are appointed by the president, 8 are provincial governors, 10 are traditional leaders. The term of office of Parliament is 5 years. The supreme body of executive power is the government headed by the president. The head of state and government is President R. Mugabe. Speaker of the House of Assembly – E. Mnangagwa.
Executive power in the provinces is vested in governors appointed by the president.
The most prominent statesman is Robert Mugabe (born in 1924), founder of ZANU and president of the country.
The political system is multi-party. More than 20 parties are registered, of which are represented in parliament: ZANU-PF, Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
Leading business organizations: Stock Exchange of Zimbabwe, Confederation of Zimbabwean Industries, Bulawayo Agricultural Society, Union of Commercial Farmers, Zimbabwe National Chambers of Commerce.
Public organizations: Congress of Trade Unions of Zimbabwe, Federation of Trade Unions of Zimbabwe.
Domestic policy in recent years has been characterized primarily by the fact that the country’s economic interests have been sacrificed to political ambitions. Repressions against the opposition became tougher, even torture was used. In 2003, Mugabe made an attempt to reconcile with the opposition.
Foreign policy has led to a deterioration in relations with the EU (especially with the UK) and the US, to the cessation of financial assistance from major donors. In the West-Zimbabwe conflict, most African states supported Harare, although some leaders, such as South African President T. Mbeki, cautiously criticized Mugabe’s policies. To save the Zimbabwean economy from collapse, several African countries provide emergency assistance: Libya supplies oil, South Africa – grain and other food, Mozambique – electricity.
The number of the army of Zimbabwe is 39 thousand people, of which the Ground Forces are 35 thousand, aviation – 4 thousand. The number of police is 19.5 thousand people. In addition, there is a paramilitary police unit – 2.3 thousand people. (2000). Army spending: $350 million, i.e. 3.8% of GDP (2001).
Zimbabwe has diplomatic relations with the Russian Federation (established with the USSR in 1981).
The standard of living of the population began to decline markedly from the beginning. 1990s and fell sharply in 2000–02. One of the first laws of independent Zimbabwe was the Minimum Wage Act of 1980, which provided for the indexation of wages in line with inflation. However, in practice, inflation outstripped the growth in incomes of the population, although the government formally complied with the law of 1980. The fact is that statistics underestimated the level of inflation. So, officially inflation in 1998 was 25%, but, according to economists, it exceeded 40%, and the IMF determined it at 46.6%. That same year, the teachers’ union secured a 15% increase in wages from the government and a 24% increase in the cost of living index. However, at critical moments, for example, on the eve of the 2000 elections, the government went to a significant increase in wages for employees and salaries in the army. In 1999, 60% of the population lived below the poverty line. With the current economic crisis, this figure is probably much higher.
Foreign trade turnover has been slowly declining since 1996, but in 2000 it fell sharply, especially imports (by 25%), and remained at this level in 2001. The trade balance has been positive since 1998. In 2001, exports amounted to 1714.9 million US dollars, and imports – 1545 million. Export items (million US dollars): agricultural products – 769.8, manufacturing – 773.7; mining – 171.4. The export of tobacco, which previously accounted for more than 30% of the value of all exports, as well as sugar cane, cotton, vegetables and fruits, decreased. The export of coffee and tea increased slightly. Main import items: machinery and equipment, oil products and electricity, semi-finished industrial products, chemical products, foodstuffs.
The situation with the balance of payments has become extremely aggravated. In 1998 it was positive, in the following year it was almost zero, but in 2000 the passive balance amounted to 171 million US dollars, and in 2001 – 625 million. Further deterioration of the balance of payments is expected.
Science and culture of Zimbabwe
According to educationvv, there are 4 universities in the country, two public (in Harare and Bulawayo) and two private. Harare is home to the Agricultural Research Council, of which more than 10 institutions are affiliated, and the National Botanical Garden. There are research centers for timber, cotton, tobacco, and a geological department. There are five major libraries (three of them are public), four museums, and the National Art Gallery. There are several amateur theaters and musical ensembles in the country. There is Zimbabwean fiction, mostly in English.