DIANNA GAMES: Zimbabwe shows that dysfunction can be a long-term game
'Impoverishment of a country is not an event, it is a moving line of tinkering with institutions'
Zimbabweans make it look easy to live in a dysfunctional state. Harare’s supermarkets are full, the streets are busy and informal traders have proliferated along the sidewalks in recent years as formal employment has shrunk. The roads, empty during the dark days of hyperinflation, are bustling with cars. It is easy to get caught up from afar in the bad news; to assume Zimbabwe is about to implode at any time. But people have got used to hardship and are even making good money out of politically driven dysfunction. One of the key drivers of the economy is, as a Harare businessman said recently, an "unquantifiable and unmeasurable resilience". This resilience has played into the hands of the governing party, Zanu-PF, and President Robert Mugabe. It has kept the economy going through tough times, bolstered, ironically, by remittances sent home by Zimbabweans who gave up on change at home. Long-term investors in Zimbabwe have not given up on change. Most have remained despite the hardsh...