Farm Invasions Threaten Government, Says EIU

A LONDON-based economic intelligence organisation yesterday said fresh farm invasions in Zimbabwe threaten the country’s young coalition government and are likely to lead to further social unrest.


According to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), Zimbabwe’s risk profile of possible unrest is further fuelled by grinding poverty faced by the majority of the population in the country.

“A constitutional review process, rampant corruption in government and a general breakdown of the rule of law has deepened Zimbabwe’s exposure to social and political tension putting at risk the stability of the coalition government,” the EIU has warned in a report.

The EIU is the business information arm of the group which publishes the Economist. The group’s research and forecast on political, economic and business conditions in more than 200 countries provides analysis on worldwide market trends and business strategies.

The group’s report ranked Zimbabwe as a country with a high-risk profile of political upheaval with an index score of 8,8. The EIU index measures vulnerability on a scale of zero (no vulnerability) to 10 (highest vulnerability).

Zimbabwe’s coalition government has already been put to the test by the latest wave of farm invasions and the continued detention of opposition and human rights activists in complete violation of the September 15 2008 unity government agreement.

Calls by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai for an end to the latest push to evict the last remaining white commercial farmers have been largely ignored by hardliners in Zanu PF opposed to the unity deal and who have seized farms recently.

Meanwhile, the unity administration at the weekend adopted a 100-day plan aimed at mending ties with the West after years of isolation in a bid to woo direct financial aid to kick-start an economic revival process.

The unity government insists that during the 100 days it will restore human rights, address security concerns, repeal harsh media laws and re-engage the international community.

The government said it was keen to normalise relations with the European Union, Britain, the United States and the white Commonwealth nations that have been President Robert Mugabe’s harshest critics over his misrule.

However, Western nations have said that they want the unity government to submit a credible economic recovery programme, and implement genuine political and economic reforms before providing direct financial aid to Zimbabwe. —  Reuters.

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