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Zimbabwean government clampdown could escalate

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Significance

This was the second major protest banned by the authorities in recent days, amid deepening public dissatisfaction with the government's handling of the economy. As fears grow among the ruling ZANU-PF government of a popular uprising, the security forces are intensifying a clampdown on opposition and civil society figures.

Impacts

  • Recent violence will probably delay, but not necessarily scupper plans for a new IMF funding package over the medium-to-long term.
  • A potential increase in public-sector wages has unnerved the IMF amid fears over renewed fiscal slippages.
  • A recent scandal over the looting of pension funds by officials has undermined already fragile confidence in government.
  • The current public services crisis will likely worsen over the short term, as strikes by workers increase.
  • Opposition calls for a transitional government are likely to come to naught over the short term amid entrenched ZANU-PF resistance.
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