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Zim remains lowly-ranked on governance record: AfDB



THE African Development Bank (AfDB) says Zimbabwe remains lowly ranked on governance compared to regional peers despite slightly improving over the last 10 years.


After taking over from the late former long-time leader Robert Mugabe following a military-assisted transition, President Emmerson Mnangagwa promised to break with the past and undertook to adopt a raft of neo-liberal reforms.

Mnangagwa’s administration, which is currently ineligible to access concessional funding from multilateral lenders due to non-payment of arrears, is desperate to normalise relations with its creditors as a first step towards re-joining the family of nations.

Critics however say Zimbabwe is now under the jackboot of repression as the authorities descend on the opposition and civil society organisations.

According to the new African Development Bank 2024-2026 Country Brief on Zimbabwe, the lowly rating was attributed to poor scores in transparency, accountability, corruption in the public sector, and weaknesses in public administration.

“Zimbabwe’s governance indicators have slightly improved but remain weak,” says the AfDB.

“The Bank’s Country Policy and Institutional Assessment (CPIA) score for Zimbabwe improved from 2.11 in 2013 to 2.7 in 2020 (the highest registered so far) but remained below the Africa average of 3.5 which implies continued weak governance systems.”

The 2022 Ibrahim Index of African Governance gave Zimbabwe an overall score of 48.1/100, with a ranking of 29 out of 54 African countries, representing an improvement from 45.7 in 2014.

The improved scores were due to progress in the security and rule of law indicator (42.9 in 2014 to 46.4 in 2022), foundations for economic opportunities indicator (47.2 in 2014 to 52.9 in 2022), and human development indicator (52.4 in 2014 to 54.1 in 2022).

The Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) score for Zimbabwe improved to 24/100 in 2023 ranking it 149/180 countries from 23/100 and a ranking of 157/180 countries in 2021.

In March 2022, Zimbabwe was removed from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) grey list and is making progress on strengthening its Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) framework following the implementation of legislative and policy reforms by the government of Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe held general elections last August which saw Mnangagwa clinch a controversial wafer-thin win over his rival Nelson Chamisa.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission declared the winner of the Presidential race with 52.6% of the presidential votes, while the main opposition leader, Chamisa of the Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC), was second with 44% of the total votes cast.

A total of 210 parliamentary seats were contested and the Zanu PF obtained 136 parliamentary seats against 73 seats for the CCC. The CCC did not endorse the outcome of these elections, but did not contest the results in court within the stipulated time frame.

Hence Mnangagwa was sworn in as President of Zimbabwe for a second five-year term of office on 4 September 2023.

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