How Did Zimbabwe Change Over 37 Years of Robert Mugabe's Rule?

On Wednesday, November 15, the oldest among the longest ruling national leaders, Robert Mugabe, 93 years old president of Zimbabwe who ruled the country for 37 years was taken into custody by the military which appears to take control over the country.
Media says that the reason is that army did not like that Mugabe fired deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa on November 6 which meant first lady Grace Mugabe, 52 years old Mugabe's wife, may be positioned for vice-president post and become a president after her husband's death.

According to army leaders, however, it is not a military takeover but an attempt to bring to book the president's team which is responsible for the country's economic crisis.

But are the economic and social conditions in Zimbabwe so poor that military intervention is required and how did they change in general during the Robert Mugabe's long rule? It is true that there are economic difficulties in the country: economic growth is weak and per-capita national income is still 30 percent lower than in 1996 in spite of gradual recovery.

Among other deteriorations that Zimbabwe saw during the Mugabe's rule are decreased private investment and trade balance, deteriorating political rights of the population, increased dependence on natural resources, growing hunger and worsening access to water and sanitation.

But there are also some important improvements observed over the same time period. Most of them are in the social sphere, including a reduction in child mortality from 103 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1980 to 70 in 2015, growing literacy and education attainment rates, improved economic freedom and international tourism, as well as a decrease of military expenditures.

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