The month of November marked the first anniversary following the coup that resulted in the ouster of former President Robert Mugabe who ruled the country for 37 years. One year after the end of Mugabe’s rule, Zimbabweans continue to suffer from an interlink of socio- economic and political challenges. The economy is in a never ending downward spiral characterized by inflation, acute shortages of foreign currency that have resulted in shortages of fuel, essential drugs and an increase in the cost basic commodities. The US$8 billion 2019 national budget presented under the theme Austerity for Prosperity failed to resuscitate hopes for a better Zimbabwe. The Minister of Finance, Honourable Mthuli Ncube, increased the duty on petrol by 6.5 cents and diesel by 7 cents which will likely result in further price increases.
November also witnessed the holding of the first National Assembly by-election in Mutoko North and the second Local Authority by- election in Chegutu East after the 30th of July harmonized elections. According to the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN), in spite of incidents of partisan distribution of food aid, destruction of campaign materials and hate speech during the pre- election period, the two by- elections were held in a peaceful and calm political environment. ZANU-PF won in the two by- elections.
The Commission of Inquiry established in terms of the Commissions of Inquiry Act [Chapter 10:07] to investigate the 1st of August 2018 post- election violence continued with public hearings in Harare. Members of the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA), Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), CSOs, medical practitioners, vendors, ballistics expert and MDC Alliance leaders, among others, testified before the Commission. The public hearings were concluded on the 27th of November 2018. The Executive Summary of the Commission’s report was presented to the President Mnangagwa on the 29th of November. The final report is due by 19th of December 2018.
Source: Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum (HRForum)