On March 16, the Southern African state of Zimbabwe is scheduled vote on whether to accept or reject a draft constitution which is the product of four years of collaboration between the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriot Front and the two Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) parties. Later in July, national presidential and parliamentary elections will be held in order to form a new government inside this country which gained its independence from British colonial settlers in 1980. Zimbabwe is still facing sanctions by Britain, the United States, the European Union and their allies. The sanctions were designed to isolate the ruling ZANU-PF party headed by President Robert Mugabe, which launched a comprehensive land redistribution program in 2000 that seized the most productive farms and turned them over to the African masses. In recent years, a national reconciliation process has led to the lessening of tensions inside the country.
The establishment of a Global Political Agreement and a coalition government since 2008 has resulted in broad-based discussions and the formulation of a draft constitutional document.
Millions are expected to vote on the draft that will ostensibly solidify the national reconciliation process. President Mugabe and other leading governmental officials have appealed to the citizens of the mineral-rich state to maintain the peace throughout the campaigning and election period.
During the lead up to the land redistribution program, the imperialist states imposed draconian sanctions and financed the formation of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change headed by Morgan Tsvangirai. The MDC later split into two factions with one headed by Arthur Mutambara and the other by Tsvangirai.