People in Harare, Zimbabwe. Editorial credit: JordiStock /


Robert Mugabe and his Zimbabwe African National Union–Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) dominated Zimbabwean politics since independence in 1980, in part by carrying out severe and often violent crackdowns against the political opposition, critical media, and other dissenters. However, as the ZANU-PF fragmented, Mugabe was removed from power in 2017 through a military intervention, and Emmerson Mnangagwa, the former vice president, was installed as president. The 2018 presidential election, while deeply flawed, restored elected executive power in the country. Endemic corruption, weak rule of law, and poor protections for workers and land rights remain among Zimbabwe’s critical challenges.

Freedom in the World 2021

Freedom in the World — Zimbabwe Country Report

Zimbabwe is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2021, Freedom House's annual study of political rights and civil liberties worldwide.

A young woman wearing a protective mask looks at her smartphone while passing by a grafitti representing two big watching eyes in Berlin, Germany on April 1, 2020. Illustrative Editorial (Photo by Emmanuele Contini/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Freedom on the Net— Zimbabwe Country Report

Zimbabwe is rated Partly Free in Freedom on the Net, Freedom House's comprehensive study of internet freedom around the globe.