Tuesday 11 August 2020
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AMHVoices: Is Zimbabwe a collapsed or failed State?

STATE failure can occur in many dimensions such as security, economic development, political representation, income distribution and so on. By Concerned Reader Zimbabwe seems to be both a failed and a collapsed State, where the government fails to provide basic commodities to its citizens. There is scarcity of almost every basic commodity on the shelves of many, if not all shops. This is a clear indication that Zimbabwe is regressing, the poor becoming poorer. If the government cannot provide a bar of soap, a bottle of cooking oil, and a packet of sugar, is there any possibility of it creating employment or awarding a salary increment? There is no further severity of State failure or collapsed State like this. It is evident enough that the government is failing its citizens, especially those in the countryside. It is a human rights violation to fail to provide citizens with basic commodities and a decent life. Failed states like Zimbabwe no longer deliver positive political goods to their people. Their governments lose legitimacy, and in the eyes and hearts of a growing plurality of its citizens, the State itself becomes illegitimate’. The failed states literature stresses that there are certain indicators that are necessary (if not sufficient) to categorise a State as “failed”. The persistence of political violence is salient in most definitions of “failed states”. Evidence of August 1, 2018 post-election shootings in Harare and countrywide assaults of unarmed civilians, especially during the COVID-19-induced lockdown, points to a situation of a failed State. Failed states are tense, deeply conflicted, dangerous and bitterly contested by warring factions. In most failed and collapsed states, corruption and plundering of natural resources is the order of the day as witnessed in President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Cabinet and those closely related to him, including his family members.


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