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ZIMBABWEIt was over twenty years ago when Zimbabwe received itsindependence and the country had likelihood to become an African successstory good soil lots of mineral resources and a new government that spoke ofmodernization and reform Although today Zimbabwe looks to be caught in adownward fall in economics and politics TIMEIn April 1980 the former British colony of Southern Rhodesia was internationallyrecognized as the independent state of Zimbabwe The countrys newgovernment was headed by the Zimbabwe National African Union-Patriotic FrontZANU-PF a group of African nationalists that had fought for a different kind ofindependence from that declared by Ian Smiths white regime in 1965TIMERobert Mugabe ZANU-PFs former leader became the first head ofZimbabwe calling for a new spirit that must unite and not divide Although whileZimbabwe had a fresh name and a fresh leader it still had its former problemsThe racial inequalities induced by white rule continued in the feud between blackand white incomes and black Zimbabweans wanted their fair share of the chieffarming territory that had been previously owned by the white settlers from theZimbabwe went bankrupted after the long war for freedom and theeconomy was even weakened by the huge emigration of Europeans and adrought in the early 1980s TIME The slow pace land reform led to tension inMatabeleland in southwestern Zimbabw and Zanu But now they were rivals andthe tensions between them and their ethnic groups increased as the governmentaccused ZAPUs leader Joshua Nkomo of induced violence in the region Thegovernment began a military campaign against the dissidents that claimedIn 1987 Mugabe and Nkomo resolved there feud agreeing to merge thetwo factions into a single-party Marxist-Leninist government TIME Mugabebecame Zimbabwes first executive President and the larger ZANU-PF went on towin the 1990 elections After a decade in office Mugabe had come closer to hisvision of a one-party socialist rule and he demonstrated this by cracking down onstudent protests in the early 1990sTIMEConstant food and fuel shortages inflation unemployment corruptiongovernment inertia and the stalled
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