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Introduction: The UK annexed Southern Rhodesia from the [British] South Africa Company in 1923. A 1961 constitution was formulated that favored whites in power. In 1965 the government unilaterally declared its independence, but the UK did not recognize the act and demanded more complete voting rights for the black African majority in the country (then called Rhodesia). UN sanctions and a guerrilla uprising finally led to free elections in 1979 and independence (as Zimbabwe) in 1980. Robert MUGABE, the nation's first prime minister, has been the country's only ruler (as president since 1987) and has dominated the country's political system since...

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Government: According to Zimbabwe's constitution, the president is head of state and head of government, and is elected by popular majority vote. Constitutional Amendment 19 requires that the president consult with the prime minister on many key issues of state, including senior appointments. Parliament is bicameral and sits for up to a 5-year term. On October 1, 2007 Constitutional Amendment 18, which ...

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International Relations: Zimbabwe generally has good relations with its neighbours. SADC (Southern African Development Community) members did not publicly confront Zimbabwe on humanitarian, human rights and related political issues as the country descended into violence and mis-governance, largely because of historic loyalties. However, to try to assist in preparations for the 2008 elections, SADC charged South African President Mbeki with mediating in disputes between the parties. The Mbeki/SADC mediation led, after the disputed poll, to a power-sharing agreement between ZANU(PF) and the two MDC parties in September 2008. SADC, as a guarantor of the GPA along with ...

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