Zimbabwe a ‘potential conflict zone’
A LEADING research institute has added Zimbabwe to its potential conflict zone or flashpoints watch list as the country’s economic situation fast deteriorates amid unprecedented company closures and massive job losses which have seen almost 20 000 people retrenched and dismissed in a three-week wave of record cutbacks as firms struggle to survive.
This crisis, coupled with government’s fight against armies of vendors who have invaded streets of towns and cities after losing their jobs as they battle for survival, has created an explosive environment of economic and social instability in which riots, an uprising or violence could flare up even though Zimbabweans are known for their docility.
World leader in global forecasting and quantitative analysis for business and government, Oxford Economics’ risk assessment firm NKC African Economics (NKC) recently added Zimbabwe to a list of unstable countries which include Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritania, Swaziland, Togo, Tunisia and the Western Sahara.
NKC says it has taken into account recent economic and social developments in Zimbabwe, including government’s ongoing battle with vendors which have created a volatile situation. Authorities are fighting vendors to stop hawking in undesignated areas.