Zimbabwe is constitutionally a republic. The country elected Emmerson Mnangagwa president for a five-year term in 2018 in general elections. Despite incremental improvements from past elections, domestic and international
observers noted serious concerns and called for further reforms necessary to meet regional and international standards for democratic elections. Numerous factors contributed to a flawed overall election process, including: the Zimbabwe Election
Commission’s lack of independence; heavily biased state media favoring the ruling party; voter intimidation; unconstitutional influence of tribal leaders; disenfranchisement of alien and diaspora voters; failure to provide a preliminary
voters roll in electronic format; politicization of food aid; security services’ excessive use of force; and lack of precision and transparency around the release of
election results. The election resulted in the formation of a government led by the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front Party with a supermajority in the National Assembly but not in the Senate.
The Zimbabwe Republic Police maintain internal security. The Department of Immigration and police, both under the Ministry of Home Affairs, are primarily
responsible for migration and border enforcement. Although police are officially under the authority of the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Office of the President directed some police roles and missions in response to civil unrest. The military is responsible for external security but also has some domestic security
responsibilities. The Zimbabwe National Army and Air Force constitute the Zimbabwe Defense Forces and report to the minister of defense. The Central Intelligence Organization, under the Office of the President, engages in both
internal and external security matters. Civilian authorities at times did not maintain effective control over the security forces. Members of the security forces committed numerous abuses.
Significant human rights issues included: unlawful or arbitrary killings of civilians by security forces; torture and arbitrary detention by security forces; cases of cruel,
inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment; harsh and life-threatening prison
conditions; political prisoners or detainees; arbitrary or unlawful interference with
privacy; serious problems with the independence of the judiciary; serious
government restrictions on free expression, press, and the internet, including
violence, threats of violence, or unjustified arrests or prosecutions against
journalists, censorship, site blocking, and the existence of criminal libel laws;