Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 05/2009

March 08 Elections: Swim or Sink, Which Way Will Zimbabwe Go?

Briggs Bomba

January 2009

Africa Policy Information Center


Great Zimbabwe, the monument, is an imposing structure of stone blocks daringly constructed without mortar. The ruined ancient city, still majestic in its presence, is said to be the biggest ancient stone structure in Africa outside the Egyptian pyramids. This impressive fortress stood for hundreds of years defying time and weather to become not only a national symbol of strength, audacious vision, and power but also a firm footprint and testimony to ancient ingenuity on the African continent. Zimbabwe, the country, born in 1980 following independence from almost a century of British colonial rule, lies prostate today, ruined like the ancient city from which it got its name. For the past decade, the country has been coming apart block by block. Evidently, like the ruins, the country of Zimbabwe was constructed without mortar.