Zimbabwe Population: 14,546,961


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The UK annexed Southern Rhodesia from the former British South Africa Company in 1923. A 1961 constitution was formulated that favored whites in power. In 1965 the government unilaterally declared its independence, but the UK did not recognize the act and demanded more complete voting rights for the black African majority in the country (then called Rhodesia). UN sanctions and a guerrilla uprising finally led to free elections in 1979 and independence (as Zimbabwe) in 1980. Robert MUGABE, the nation's first prime minister, has been the country's only ruler (as president since 1987) and has dominated the country's political system since independence. His chaotic land redistribution campaign, which began in 1997 and intensified after 2000, caused an exodus of white farmers, crippled the economy, and ushered in widespread shortages of basic commodities. Ignoring international condemnation, MUGABE rigged the 2002 presidential election to ensure his reelection. In April 2005, the capital city of Harare embarked on Operation Restore Order, ostensibly an urban rationalization program, which resulted in the destruction of the homes or businesses of 700,000 mostly poor supporters of the opposition. MUGABE in June 2007 instituted price controls on all basic commodities causing panic buying and leaving store shelves empty for months. General elections held in March 2008 contained irregularities but still amounted to a censure of the ZANU-PF-led government with the opposition winning a majority of seats in parliament. Movement for Democratic Change - Tsvangirai opposition leader Morgan TSVANGIRAI won the most votes in the presidential poll, but not enough to win outright. In the lead up to a run-off election in June 2008, considerable violence against opposition party members led to the withdrawal of TSVANGIRAI from the ballot. Extensive evidence of violence and intimidation resulted in international condemnation of the process. Difficult negotiations over a power-sharing "government of national unity," in which MUGABE remained president and TSVANGIRAI became prime minister, were finally settled in February 2009, although the leaders failed to agree upon many key outstanding governmental issues. MUGABE was reelected president in June 2013 in balloting that was severely flawed and internationally condemned. As a prerequisite to holding the election, Zimbabwe enacted a new constitution by referendum, although many provisions in the new constitution have yet to be codified in law.

Landlocked; the Zambezi forms a natural riverine boundary with Zambia; in full flood (February-April) the massive Victoria Falls on the river forms the world's largest curtain of falling water; Lake Kariba on the Zambia-Zimbabwe border forms the world's largest reservoir by volume (180 cu km; 43 cu mi)
Location: Southern Africa, between South Africa and Zambia
Geographic coordinates: 20 00 S, 30 00 E
Area: total: 390,757 sq km
land: 386,847 sq km
water: 3,910 sq km

Size comparison: slightly larger than Montana
Land Boundaries: total: 3,229 km border countries (4): Botswana 834 km, Mozambique 1,402 km, South Africa 230 km, Zambia 763 km
Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims: none (landlocked)
Climate: tropical; moderated by altitude; rainy season (November to March)
Terrain: mostly high plateau with higher central plateau (high veld); mountains in east
Elevation extremes:
Natural resources: coal, chromium ore, asbestos, gold, nickel, copper, iron ore, vanadium, lithium, tin, platinum group metals
Land use: agricultural land: 42.5% arable land 10.9%; permanent crops 0.3%; permanent pasture 31.3% forest: 39.5%
other: 18% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land: 1,740 sq km (2012)
Natural hazards: recurring droughts; floods and severe storms are rare
Current Environment Issues: deforestation; soil erosion; land degradation; air and water pollution; the black rhinoceros herd - once the largest concentration of the species in the world - has been significantly reduced by poaching; poor mining practices have led to toxic waste and heavy metal pollution
International Environment Agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
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Nationality: noun: Zimbabwean(s)
adjective: Zimbabwean
Ethnic groups: African 99.4% (predominantly Shona; Ndebele is the second largest ethnic group), other 0.4%, unspecified 0.2% (2012 est.)
Languages: Shona (official; most widely spoken), Ndebele (official, second most widely spoken), English (official; traditionally used for official business), 13 minority languages (official; includes Chewa, Chibarwe, Kalanga, Koisan, Nambya, Ndau, Shangani, sign language, Sotho, Tonga, Tswana, Venda, and Xhosa)
Religions: Protestant 75.9% (includes Apostolic 38%, Pentecostal 21.1%, other 16.8%), Roman Catholic 8.4%, other Christian 8.4%, other 1.2% (includes traditional, Muslim), none 6.1% (2011 est.)
Population: 14,546,961 note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2016 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 37.8% (male 2,778,806/female 2,720,033)
15-24 years: 21.29% (male 1,560,833/female 1,536,110)
25-54 years: 33.86% (male 2,578,142/female 2,346,993)
55-64 years: 3.55% (male 188,851/female 327,483)
65 years and over: 3.5% (male 194,933/female 314,777) (2016 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 80.4%
youth dependency ratio: 75%
elderly dependency ratio: 5.3%
potential support ratio: 18.7% (2015 est.)
Median age: total: 20.6 years
male: 20.5 years
female: 20.8 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate: 2.2% (2016 est.)
Birth rate: 31.9 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate: 9.9 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 32.4% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 2.3% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major urban areas - population: HARARE (capital) 1.501 million (2015)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.1 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.58 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.64 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Mother's mean age at first birth: 20.5 note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2010/11 est.)
Maternal mortality rate: 443 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 25.9 deaths/1,000 live births male: 28.1 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 23.6 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 58 years male: 57.3 years
female: 58.7 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate: 3.5 children born/woman (2016 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate: 58.5% (2010/11)
Health expenditures: 6.4% of GDP (2014)
Physicians density: 0.08 physicians/1,000 population (2011)
Hospital bed density: 1.7 beds/1,000 population (2011)
Drinking water source: improved:
urban: 97% of population
rural: 67.3% of population
total: 76.9% of population

urban: 3% of population
rural: 32.7% of population
total: 23.1% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved:
urban: 49.3% of population
rural: 30.8% of population
total: 36.8% of population

urban: 50.7% of population
rural: 69.2% of population
total: 63.2% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 14.69% (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 1,425,800 (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 29,400 (2015 est.)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 8.4% (2014)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight: 11.2% (2014)
Education expenditures: 8.4% of GDP (2014)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write English
total population: 86.5%
male: 88.5%
female: 84.6% (2015 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 10 years male: 10 years
female: 10 years (2013)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24: total: 8.7% male: 7.7%
female: 9.8% (2012 est.)
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Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Zimbabwe
conventional short form: Zimbabwe
former: Southern Rhodesia, Rhodesia
etymology: takes its name from the Kingdom of Zimbabwe (13th-15th century) and its capital of Great Zimbabwe, the largest stone structure in pre-colonial southern Africa
Government type: semi-presidential republic
Capital: name: Harare
geographic coordinates: 17 49 S, 31 02 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions: 8 provinces and 2 cities* with provincial status; Bulawayo*, Harare*, Manicaland, Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland East, Mashonaland West, Masvingo, Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South, Midlands
Independence: 18 April 1980 (from the UK)
National holiday: Independence Day, 18 April (1980)
Constitution: previous 1965 (at Rhodesian independence), 1979 (Lancaster House Agreement), 1980 (at Zimbabwean independence); latest final draft completed January 2013, approved by referendum 16 March 2013, approved by Parliament 9 May 2013; amended many times in 2013; note - significant amendments proposed in early 2015 (2016)
Legal system: mixed legal system of English common law, Roman-Dutch civil law, and customary law
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: Executive President Robert Gabriel MUGABE (since 31 December 1987); Vice Presidents Emmerson Dambudzo MNANGAGWA and Phelekezela MPHOKO (both since 12 December 2014); note - Vice President Joice MUJURU (since 6 December 2004) was dismissed 9 December 2014

head of government: Executive President Robert Gabriel MUGABE (since 31 December 1987); note - following the 31 July 2013 presidential election, the position of prime minister was abolished

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by president, responsible to House of Assembly elections/appointments: each presidential candidate nominated with a nomination paper signed by at least 10 registered voters (at least 1 candidate from each province) and directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (no term limits); election last held on 31 July 2013 (next to be held in 2018); co-vice presidents drawn from party leadership

election results: Robert Gabriel MUGABE reelected president; percent of vote - Robert Gabriel MUGABE (ZANU-PF) 61.1%, Morgan TSVANGIRAI (MDC-T) 34.4%, Welshman NCUBE (MDC-N) 2.7%, other 1.8%; note - the election process was considered flawed and roundly criticized by election monitors and international bodies; both the African Union and the South African Development Community endorsed the results of the election with some concerns
Legislative branch: description: bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (80 seats; 60 members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies - 6 seats in each of the 10 provinces - by proportional representation vote, 16 indirectly elected by the regional governing councils, 2 reserved for the National Council Chiefs, and 2 reserved for members with disabilities; members serve 5-year terms) and the House of Assembly (270 seats; 210 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 60 seats reserved for women directly elected by proportional representation vote; members serve 5-year terms)

elections: last held on 31 July 2013 (next to be held in 2018)

election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - ZANU-PF 37, MDC-T 21, MDC-N 2, chiefs 18, people with disabilities 2; House of Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - ZANU-PF 196, MDC-T 70, MDC-N 2, independent 2
Judicial branch: highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of the chief justice and 4 judges); Constitutional Court (consists of the chief and deputy chief justices and 9 judges) judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges appointed by the president upon recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission, an independent body consisting of the chief justice, Public Service Commission chairman, attorney general, and 2-3 members appointed by the president; judges normally serve until age 65 but can elect to serve until age 70; Constitutional Court judge appointment NA; judges serve non-renewable 15-year terms

subordinate courts: High Court; Labor Court; Administrative Court; regional magistrate courts; customary law courts; special courts
Political parties and leaders: Freedom Party [Cosmas MPONDA] Movement for Democratic Change - Ncube or MDC-N [Welshman NCUBE] Movement for Democratic Change - Renewal or MDC-R [Sekai HOLLAND]; note - has been kicked out of Parliament as of 17 May 2015 Movement for Democratic Change - Tsvangirai or MDC-T [Morgan TSVANGIRAI] Transform Zimbabwe or TZ [Jacob NGARIVHUME] United Parties [Abel MUZOREWA] Zimbabwe African National Union-Ndonga or ZANU-Ndonga [Wilson KUMBULA] Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front or ZANU-PF [Robert Gabriel MUGABE] Zimbabwe African Peoples Union or ZAPU [Dumiso DABENGWA]
Political pressure groups and leaders: Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition National Constitutional Assembly or NCA [Lovemore MADHUKU] Women of Zimbabwe Arise or WOZA [Jenni WILLIAMS] Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions or ZCTU [Japhet MOYO] Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights or ZLHR [Irene PETRAS]
National symbol(s): Zimbabwe bird symbol, African fish eagle, flame lily; national colors: green, yellow, red, black, white
National anthem: name: "Kalibusiswe Ilizwe leZimbabwe" [Northern Ndebele language] "Simudzai Mureza WeZimbabwe" [Shona] (Blessed Be the Land of Zimbabwe)
lyrics/music: Solomon MUTSWAIRO/Fred Lecture CHANGUNDEGA

note: adopted 1994
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Ammon MUTEMBWA (since 18 November 2014)
chancery: 1608 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: [1] (202) 332-7100
FAX: [1] (202) 483-9326
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Harry K. THOMAS, Jr. (since 25 February 2016)
embassy: 172 Herbert Chitepo Avenue, Harare
mailing address: P.O. Box 3340, Harare
telephone: [263] (4) 250-593 through 250-594
FAX: [263] (4) 796-488, or 722-618
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Zimbabwe's economy depends heavily on its mining and agriculture sectors. Following a decade of contraction from 1998 to 2008, the economy recorded real growth of more than 10% per year in the period 2010-13, before slowing to roughly 3% in 2014 due to poor harvests, low diamond revenues, and decreased investment. Lower mineral prices, infrastructure and regulatory deficiencies, a poor investment climate, a large public and external debt burden, and extremely high government wage expenses impede the country’s economic performance. Until early 2009, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) routinely printed money to fund the budget deficit, causing hyperinflation. Dollarization in early 2009 - which allowed currencies such as the Botswana pula, the South Africa rand, and the US dollar to be used locally - ended hyperinflation and reduced inflation below 10% per year. The RBZ introduced bond coins denominated in 1, 5, 10, and 25 cent increments on a par with the US dollar in December 2014, more than five years after the Zimbabwe dollar was taken out of circulation. In January 2015, as part of the government’s effort to boost trade and attract foreign investment, the RBZ announced that the Chinese renmimbi, Indian rupee, Australian dollar, and Japanese yen would be accepted as legal tender in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe’s government entered a second Staff Monitored Program with the IMF in 2014 and undertook other measures to reengage with international financial institutions. Foreign and domestic investment continues to be hindered by the lack of clarity regarding the government’s Indigenization and Economic Empowerment Act. In 2015 the depreciation of the South African rand against the US dollar has led to deflation in Zimbabwe as prices for South African imports decline while the costs of domestic production in US dollars remains stable.
GDP (purchasing power parity): GDP (purchasing power parity): $28.33 billion (2016 est.) $28.41 billion (2015 est.) $28.11 billion (2014 est.)

note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): GDP (official exchange rate): $14.19 billion (2015 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: -0.3% (2016 est.) 1.1% (2015 est.) 3.9% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): GDP - per capita (PPP): $2,000 (2016 est.) $2,000 (2015 est.) $2,000 (2014 est.)

note: data are in 2016 dollars
Gross national saving: 7.3% of GDP (2016 est.) 1.3% of GDP (2015 est.) -2.3% of GDP (2014 est.)
GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 83.7%
government consumption: 25.4%
investment in fixed capital: 13.2%
investment in inventories: -0.1%
exports of goods and services: 24.4%
imports of goods and services: -46.6% (2016 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of origin: household consumption: 83.7%
government consumption: 25.4%
investment in fixed capital: 13.2%
investment in inventories: -0.1%
exports of goods and services: 24.4%
imports of goods and services: -46.6% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - products: tobacco, corn, cotton, wheat, coffee, sugarcane, peanuts; sheep, goats, pigs
Industries: mining (coal, gold, platinum, copper, nickel, tin, diamonds, clay, numerous metallic and nonmetallic ores), steel; wood products, cement, chemicals, fertilizer, clothing and footwear, foodstuffs, beverages
Industrial production growth rate: -3% (2016 est.)
Labor force: 8.098 million (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 66%
industry: 10%
services: 24% (1996)
Unemployment rate: 95% (2009 est.) 80% (2005 est.) note: figures include unemployment and underemployment; true unemployment is unknown and, under current economic conditions, unknowable
Population below poverty line: 72.3% (2012 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 2%
highest 10%: 40.4% (1995)
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 50.1 (2006) 50.1 (1995)
Budget: revenues: $3.4 billion
expenditures: $3.9 billion (2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 24% of GDP (2016 est.)
Public debt: 45.4% of GDP (2016 est.) 44.7% of GDP (2015 est.)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices): Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1.6% (2016 est.) -2.4% (2015 est.)
Current account balance: -$1.069 billion (2016 est.) -$1.52 billion (2015 est.)
Exports: $3.257 billion (2016 est.) $3.551 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commodities: platinum, cotton, tobacco, gold, ferroalloys, textiles/clothing
Exports - partners: China 27.8%, Democratic Republic of the Congo 14%, Botswana 12.5%, South Africa 7.6% (2015)
Imports: $5.738 billion (2016 est.) $6.016 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commodities: machinery and transport equipment, other manufactures, chemicals, fuels, food products
Imports - partners: South Africa 48.1%, China 12.1%, India 5.2%, Zambia 4.6% (2015)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $326.3 million (31 December 2016 est.) $339.1 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Debt - external: $10.9 billion (31 December 2016 est.) $10.56 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $3.413 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $252.1 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $4.073 billion (13 April 2015 est.) $11.82 billion (31 December 2012 est.) $10.9 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
Exchange rates: Zimbabwean dollars (ZWD) per US dollar - 1 (2016 est.) NA (2013) 234.25 (2010) note: the dollar was adopted as a legal currency in 2009; since then the Zimbabwean dollar has experienced hyperinflation and is essentially worthless
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Electricity - production: 9.7 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 8 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - exports: 1.2 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - imports: 1.1 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 2.2 million kW (2014 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 63.2% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 36.8% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Crude oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2016 es)
Refined petroleum products - production: 0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 29,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 29,070 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 0 cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 0 cu m (1 January 2014 es)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 11 million Mt (2013 est.)
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Cellular Phones in use: total: 12.757 million subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 90 (July 2015 est.)
Telephone system: general assessment: privatization and competition have driven rapid expansion of telecommunications, particularly cellular voice and mobile broadband, in recent years; continued economic instability and infrastructure limitations, such as reliable power, hinder progress

domestic: consists of microwave radio relay links, open-wire lines, radiotelephone communication stations, fixed wireless local loop installations, fiber-optic cable, VSAT terminals, and a substantial mobile-cellular network; Internet connection is most readily ava

international: country code - 263; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat; 5 international digital gateway exchanges; fiber-optic connections to neighboring states provide access to international networks via undersea cable (2015)
Broadcast media: government owns all local radio and TV stations; foreign shortwave broadcasts and satellite TV are available to those who can afford antennas and receivers; in rural areas, access to TV broadcasts is extremely limited (2007)
Internet country code: .zw
Internet users: total: 2.328 million percent of population: 16.4% (July 2015 est.)
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Airports: 196 (2013)
Airports (paved runways): total 17
over 3,047 m: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5
914 to 1,523 m: 7 (2013)
Airports (unpaved runways): total 179

1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 104
under 914 m: 72 (2013)
Pipelines: refined products 270 km (2013)
Railways: total 3,427 km

narrow gauge: 3,427 km 1.067-m gauge (313 km electrified) (2014)
Roadways: total 97,267 km
paved: 18,481 km
unpaved: 78,786 km (2002)
Waterways: (some navigation possible on Lake Kariba) (2011)
Ports and terminals:
river port(s): Binga, Kariba (Zambezi)
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Military branches: Zimbabwe Defense Forces (ZDF): Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA), Air Force of Zimbabwe (AFZ) (2012)
Military service age and obligation: 18-24 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription; women are eligible to serve (2012)
Military expenditures: 2.79% of GDP (2014) 2.64% of GDP (2013) 2.94% of GDP (2012) 2.05% of GDP (2011) 2.94% of GDP (2010)
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 Transnational Issues
Disputes - International: Namibia has supported, and in 2004 Zimbabwe dropped objections to, plans between Botswana and Zambia to build a bridge over the Zambezi River, thereby de facto recognizing a short, but not clearly delimited, Botswana-Zambia boundary in the river; South Africa has placed military units to assist police operations along the border of Lesotho, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique to control smuggling, poaching, and illegal migration
Refugees and internally displaced persons: refugees (country of origin): 5,414 (Democratic Republic of Congo) (2015) IDPs: undetermined (political violence, violence in association with the 2008 election, human rights violations, land reform, and economic collapse) (2015)
stateless persons: 300,000 (2015)
Illicit drugs: transit point for cannabis and South Asian heroin, mandrax, and methamphetamines en route to South Africa
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