“By whatever means necessary!”: surviving in post-2000 Zimbabwe by Victor Gwande (Doctoral Candidate at International Studies Group (University of the Free State, South Africa)
Since the beginning of the twenty-first century, Zimbabwe has experienced rapid economic decline. Many commentators and scholars have attempted to account for the developments of this era. They all seem to concur that the period has been characterized by a series of crises, or at least one over-arching crisis. Two points of convergence emerge from these commentaries. First they cite the impact of the Fast Track Land Reform Programme and its consequences. Second, they argue that the descent into political tyranny by the Zanu PF government was a major factor underpinning events. However, while these factors certainly accelerated the economic decline, signs of disaster had begun to show from the early 1990s when the government adopted the Economic Structural Adjustment Programme (ESAP), compensated liberation war veterans in 1997 with unbudgeted payments, and participated in the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo from 1998 to 2002. All these factors read together help explain the current Zimbabwean crisis.