On February 28, 2018 the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations held a hearing on “Zimbabwe after Mugabe”. Chipo Dendere, Ph.D., Visiting Assistant Professor Amherst College was one of the witnesses. Here is an excerpt of her testimony:
Challenges and opportunities in a post-Mugabe society
In my interviews, Zimbabweans expressed that they are tired of being a global agenda item for the wrong reasons. Zimbabweans are eager to get back to the business of rebuilding their country and bringing back dignity. Most feel that a post-Mugabe era will open doors for development. This sentiment is shared by a lot of investors and donor countries who have been quick to extend a helping hand to the new government.
While I share the hope of many Zimbabweans, it is my expert opinion that additional aid and investment will not solve Zimbabwe’s problems in the absence of significant reforms to reduce poverty and strengthen institutions. If President Mnangagwa’s government or the next government that wins in elections in 2018 does not address deeply entrenched corruption, violation of various human rights, including property rights and punitive economic policies the United States, other donors and investors will not see positive returns on their investments. Investment partners are likely to see better returns on their efforts if they shift from government-to-government partnerships and focus on engaging at the local level, supporting entrepreneurs, local businesses, independent media houses and civil society. Read her full testimony here and click here watch the hearing and read other witnesses testimonies.