Africa Notes: Averting Chaos and Collapse in Zimbabwe The Centrality of South African and U.S. Leadership - April 2003
April 4, 2003
A conjunction of acute food and fuel shortages, popular frustration, and increasing state-sponsored brutality are driving the crisis in Zimbabwe into a new and dangerous phase, threatening a complete shutdown of the Zimbabwean economy with deeply destabilizing consequences for the country itself and the surrounding region. Absent an effective negotiated compact between the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union–Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), with broad civil society input, Zimbabwe may become the world’s newest collapsed state. In a worst-case scenario, the country’s current economic convulsions could lead to massive internal violence and unrest and a flood of political and economic refugees into the surrounding region.