The Role of Civil Society in Rebuilding Zimbabwe

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Zimbabwe's years of economic mismanagement and political instability, especially in the last decade of the Zimbabwe Crisis, have had catastrophic effects on the national economy, much of which has left many of its once-vibrant sectors and industries significantly depleted (Kamidza 2009: 6). The formation of the GNU has since brought some stability to the economy, particularly through the implementation of the Short Term Emergency Recovery Programme that helped reduce rapid inflation levels as well as ensure the provision of basic commodities (though largely imported) that were scarce before.

However, despite these improvements, many vital sectors such as health and education are still functioning well below their optimum capacity (Nkomo 2011). As a result, Zimbabwe continues to hang in the balance and the current government is struggling to develop sustainable policy alternatives to address the problems and challenges of the past.

For the country to move forward, Zimbabweans will need to harness their collective energy to rebuild Zimbabwe. Because of its close links to the people and the communities, Zimbabwe's civil society, in particular, has an important role in mobilising communities for the sustainable economic reconstruction and development of the country. Currently, Zimbabwe's civil society sector has not done much to mobilise Zimbabweans for the social and economic reconstruction of the country.

There are two main reasons for this; firstly, due to their extensive focus on political advocacy at the expense of economic and social advocacy and secondly, due to the underdeveloped nature of Zimbabwean civil society resulting from years of state repression and the economic crisis that eroded the organisational capacity of civics. This paper discusses the various strategies that can be adopted by civics to mobilize communities for Zimbabwe's national reconstruction and sustainable development.

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This article can be cited in other publications as follows: Zigomo, K. (2012) 'A Community-Based Approach to Sustainable Development: The Role of Civil Society in Rebuilding Zimbabwe', 2 April, Solidarity Peace Trust:

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