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Zimbabwe's Political System

Government and Politics of Zimbabwe's Political SystemFollowing the 1980 Constitution, Zimbabwe is a unified state, presidential and one-party-dominated republic. The presidential position was originally constitutional, but has been executive since 1987. The president is the head of state and is elected in direct elections for six years; there are no re-election restrictions. He appoints and heads the government and is also military commander. Legislative authority has been added to the parliament, which from 2005 has two chambers. Assembly Hall (House of Assembly) has 150 members; 120 are elected in general elections, twelve are nominated by the president, while the other seats go to ten traditional chieftains and the eight provincial governors. The House has been sitting for six years and is now elected/nominated at the same time as the President. The restored Senate has 66 members; 50 elected in direct elections for five years, six nominated by the president and ten by the Board of Governors. The recent elections have been marked by overt electoral fraud to secure re-election for President Robert Mugabe and his party ZANU.

Government and Politics of Zimbabwe

A council of its own plays an advisory role. The chiefs are appointed by the president, but according to customary rules of succession.

Mugabe's leadership style and the harassment of the opposition have led to economic disaster and international isolation. The disputed land redistribution program, launched in 2000, led to economic collapse, food shortages and emigration of many whites. Zimbabwe has a well-developed infrastructure, significant mineral resources and previously also relatively efficient agriculture. But the country has nevertheless stagnated since independence. Political unrest and abuse of power, ideology-driven reforms, drought, high population growth and serious health problems (AIDS) are major causes of stagnation.


Administratively, Zimbabwe is divided into eight provinces as well as two urban areas, led by governors appointed by the president. Locally, the board is taken care of by elected councils, led by mayors. Also see AbbreviationFinder for abbreviation of ZW and its meanings of Zimbabwe.


The judiciary is still characterized by Roman-Dutch law, but African customary law also plays a role. The Supreme Court is the Supreme Court, with a justice and four judges (appeals judges). Except in cases of fundamental rights, it is a pure appellate court. Nationally, there is also a High Court, comprising justice, the presiding judge and eleven other judges. Furthermore, there are regional courts and magistrate courts with both civil and criminal jurisdiction.

Zimbabwe's defense

The total force figures for Zimbabwe's armed forces are around 29,000 active personnel (2018, IISS). In addition, there are 21 800 semi-military police forces.


The army has a strength of about 25,000 active personnel. The equipment includes 40 tanks (30 type 59 and ten type 69), 115 light trucks, about two storm tanks, 30 armored personnel vehicles, and 12 self-propelled artillery. In addition, the Army has medium-heavy artillery and anti-aircraft artillery.

Air Force

The Air Force has a strength of 4,000 active personnel. The material includes nine fighters category F-7, two reconnaissance, 25 facilitate transport, 33 trainers (ten of which can also be used as light combat aircraft, and 13 can also be used as light attack aircraft), and 18 helicopters (which six combat helicopters of the type mi-35).

International operations

Zimbabwe participated in 2018 with observers and a small number of personnel in the UN operations in Sudan (UNAMID and UNISFA), and in South Sudan.

Presidents of Zimbabwe

Period President
1980-1987 Canaan Sodindo Banana
1987-2017 Robert Mugabe
2017- Emmerson Mnangagwa
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