Socio-economic rights in post-Mugabe Zimbabwe
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From 1980 to 2017, Robert Mugabe ruled Zimbabwe through a regime that posed as ‘democratic’ but which for all intents and purposes was a dictatorship. The power of the government stemmed not from the will of the people but its control of the armed forces and intelligence operatives. As a result, human rights abuses were commonplace. Poor governance, coupled with sanctions, led to the collapse of social systems. Poverty and hunger were the order of the day, and many basic socio-economic rights (SERs) could not be realised. In 2017, the military intervened and succeeded in pressurising Mugabe into resigning. His former vice president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, took over as president, promising a raft of changes, including respect for human rights. Against this backdrop, we look at developments in human rights, in particular SERs, since Mugabe’s exit.