Timeline: Zimbabwe's economic decline
Following are major events since the economic problems began:
1998 - An economic crisis marked by high interest rates and inflation provokes riots and mass support for the Zimbabwean Congress of Trade Unions headed by Morgan Tsvangirai. The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) is formed and Tsvangirai is appointed leader the next year.
1999 - World Bank and IMF suspend aid to Zimbabwe over differences with the government on policies.
2000 - Mugabe's government loses referendum on constitutional reforms, and his supporters invade and seize white-owned commercial farms, saying the land was illegally taken by white settlers.
-- Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party wins parliamentary polls amid charges of fraud and vote rigging by the opposition.
2001 - Zimbabwe suffers food shortages that government critics blame on farm seizures, but Mugabe blames on drought.
-- Several Western governments quietly withdraw economic aid over rights abuses by the government and Mugabe's land policy.
2002 - Mugabe wins new six-year term in elections. Observers condemn poll as flawed and unfair.
-- Commonwealth suspends Zimbabwe, while EU imposes travel sanctions and freezes assets of Mugabe's associates.
-- Collapse of commercial agriculture and poor weather contribute to serious food shortages. U.N. agencies, Britain and the U.S. help fund food aid.
2004 - The EU renews sanctions against Mugabe.
2005 - Mugabe's party wins parliamentary election.
-- The IMF begins process to expel Zimbabwe from the fund over dues unpaid since 2001.
2006 - Zimbabwe's annual inflation rises above 1,000 percent in April. Redenominated notes are issued in August.
2007 - Ruling ZANU-PF adopts a motion to hold elections in 2008 in March and endorse Mugabe as its presidential candidate.
-- Government institutes price freeze in June, followed two months later by wage freeze.
-- There is a run on shops as goods disappear from shelves. Zimbabwe imports 60,000 tons of wheat to ease bread shortages. The government said it did not meet its annual consumption requirements of between 400,000 and 450,000 tons of wheat.
-- Zimbabwe announces inflation slowed to an annualized 6,592.8 percent in August from 7,634.8 percent in July.
-- Central bank raises its main lending rate to 800 percent from 650 percent on October 1 to fight inflation.
-- The central bank also says it will launch a new currency soon to try to curtail a thriving foreign exchange black-market.
-- Zimbabwe announces on
October 17 that inflation has risen to a new record high of 7,982.1
percent year on year in September. - Reuters
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