Zimbabwe - Future trends

Zimbabwe faces a wide variety of political and economic problems. The agricultural sector has been dealt a severe blow through the land occupation by war veterans frustrated by 20 years of delay in receiving land allotments for their military service. However, the government-sanctioned violent takeover of many white-owned farms has all but destroyed Mugabe's international reputation along with Zimbabwe's agricultural output. Thus, it is unlikely there will be a resolution to the conflict while Mugabe remains in power, particularly since the international community will withold funds for an orderly transfer with compensation for the white farmers until he is gone. For now, the economic prospect is bleak, with a steady attrition of white farmers and falling agricultural output, and exports provoking crises as food and fuel fall into short supply. Tourism has virtually ceased, incomes are plummeting, and inflation is likely to continue at hyper-inflation levels. With a change in government, there will be a challenge in consolidating earlier progress in developing a market-oriented economy. Support from the IMF will resume once the government shows some determination in meeting budgetary targets.

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