Nigeria was surprisingly missing from the list of most miserable countries in the world as Zimbabwe ranks top on the list.

Naija News reports that the annual ‘misery index’ ranks almost 160 countries on factors like unemployment figures, inflation, and bank-lending rates.

Zimbabwe, one of Africa’s most populous nations with roughly 16 million citizens, has now ranked among the top five gloomiest nations for three years in a row.

According to the annual report, Robert Mugabe’s brutal rule of Zimbabwe reportedly turned the country into an international outcast, mired in corruption, violence, and an economic crisis that reduced tens of thousands to grinding poverty.

The mineral-rich country is still living with the economic fallout from Mugabe’s 37-year reign.

Behind Zimbabwe in Hanke’s Annual Misery Index is Venezuela, which has also been plagued by ‘economic mismanagement’, and Syria, which has been embroiled in a horrific civil war for more than a decade.

The economist behind the ranking, Professor Steve Hanke, said one of the biggest factors behind Zimbabwe’s ‘most miserable’ ranking is its political party ruling with an ‘iron grip’.

There have been allegations of rigging and violence around elections over the last three decades and the country has also suffered two episodes of hyperinflation by 50 percent or more, under the administration of Mugabe and his successor President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

The crash value of its currency resulted in shocking scenes of people filling buckets with cash just to purchase a loaf of bread.

He said: “With elections around the corner, [opposition leader] Nelson Chamisa and his Citizens Coalition for Change is polling well, and, on the assumption that there will be fair and free elections in Zimbabwe, he just might pull Zimbabwe out of the gutter.”

Along with Zimbabwe, Venezuela, Syria, Lebanon, and Sudan are also among the most miserable.

Venezuela has suffered two episodes of hyperinflation under President Nicolas Maduro, who has now been in office for ten years.

Hanke added: “Since Maduro came to power in 2013, it has also seen the oil production of its state-owned oil company PDVSA collapse by 76 percent.

“No wonder more than 7million Venezuelans have fled their homeland since 2015. They’re miserable”

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