By ETimes

Zimbabwe has slipped six places to 133 out of 165 countries in terms of state of democracy with the regime classified as authoritarian, according to the 2021 Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) Democracy Index.

EIU’s Democracy Index 2021, provides a snapshot of the state of democracy worldwide in 165 independent states and two territories. The Democracy Index is based on five categories: electoral process and pluralism, the functioning of government, political participation, political culture and civil liberties.

Based on its scores on a range of indicators within these categories, each country is then classified as one of four types of regime: full democracy, flawed democracy, hybrid regime or authoritarian regime.

EIU states that the southern African nation’s overall score stood at 2.92 (Index score out of 10, 10 being best) which is below regional (Sub-Saharan Africa) of 4.12. At number 32 in the region, the country’s electoral process and pluralism score stood at 0.00, functioning of government at 2.50 and political participation at 3.98.

Political culture and civil liberties score stands at 5.00 and 3.24 respectively.

Island nation Mauritius claimed top spot in the region with an overall score at 8.08. Botswana, which recently revised a controversial spy bill which would have allowed investigators to intercept private communications without a court order, followed with a score of 7.73. Cabo Verde completed the top 3 with a score of 7.65.

Zimbabwe’s biggest trading partner is now ranked 44 globally and 4 in the region with an overall score of 7.05. The country is ranked below Eswatini which earned number 128 in the world and 31 in the region. Eswatini experienced unrest in 2021 following anti-monarch protests.

“Many of the nations in Sub-Saharan Africa are concentrated at the bottom of the Democracy Index rankings,” stated EIU.

This comes as the continent has only one ‘full democracy’—Mauritius—and six ‘flawed democracies’ in 2021, unchanged from the 2020 index.

“The number of countries classed as hybrid regimes, at 14, is one more than in the 2020 index, as Mauritania’s score improved sufficiently to lift it out of the authoritarian regimes category, following improvements such as increased female representation in its parliament. Authoritarian forms of government continued to dominate, with 23 countries still classified as such.”

Zambia remains classified as a “hybrid regime”, but its score improved the most out of any Sub-Saharan country in the 2021 index, rising by 0.86 points to 5.72.

At the bottom of the regional index are Chad at number 42, Central African Republic 43 and Democratic Republic of Congo 44.

People’s sense of dissatisfaction with the economy is closely correlated with political disaffection in global opinion surveys – Harare



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