Report : Political Trust in Zimbabwe over time.

Political Trust in Zimbabwe over time.

Zimbabwe today is a country more polarised than at any time since Independence (Bratton & Masunungure. 2018), and, despite the brief euphoria over the removal of the Mugabe regime, there seems little prospect that the frequent calls for unity are finding broad acceptance. There are continued disputes over the elections in 2018, and, despite court judgements, conflict over claims of legality and legitimacy by the two major political parties. We also have a sustained decline in the economy, with seemingly little that the government can do about this. However, in the face of the hardships faced by the majority of Zimbabweans, many of whom (and certainly the youth) have known little else for nearly two decades, these calls sound increasingly hollow. We have witnessed scenes of violence and destruction not seen since 1998 and the Food Riots. It seems that the endlessly decried peacefulness of the Zimbabwean citizenry is beginning to break down in the face of the continuing and increasing hardships faced by the ordinary citizen. Unemployment is very high in Zimbabwe, and, despite the conclusions of ZimStat that only 7% are unemployed (ZimStat. 2017), the views of ordinary citizens dispute this: according to the Afrobarometer, most see themselves as unemployed, as not being in full-time employment. According to the Census, unemployment has been dropping since 2002, from 12% in 2002 to 7% in 2017, but the Afrobarometer shows an opposite picture. The point here is that the way in which citizens perceive their own economic situation is a probable source of conflict, and this has already occurred in 2019 with persistent industrial action by a variety of government workers.

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