Sunday, July 31, 2005

Mugabe returns with peanuts


PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe managed to secure China's veto in the United Nations (UN) Security Council on the world body's searing report on Zimbabwe's demolition blitz, but failed to get the economic rescue package he had hoped for.

China was quick on Wednesday to show its position by trying to block UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's envoy Anna Tibaijuka, who investigated the demolitions, from appearing before the Security Council to discuss her report.

However, China, which was supported by Russia and African countries, lost the motion and Tibaijuka duly appeared to explain her report and take questions from the floor.

Ah yes, can't condemn Mugabe for allowing his people to starve so he can pursue socialist throw out the best white farmers to redistribute land to....well, some to poor people but mostly to his cronies and to the Chinese...

While Mugabe might feel victorious in winning Chinese support, he failed to make progress where it mattered most: on the economic front. He might come back triumphant after what he is likely to see as a diplomatic coup against the West, but his failure to get substantial economic aid to deal with a litany of problems will overshadow the political benefits of his trip.

Instead of getting meaningful assistance - beyond the paltry US$6 million to buy grain - Mugabe entered trade and investment deals that will not be of any help to the battered economy in the short to medium term.

Barring a last-minute miracle, Mugabe had by yesterday not got lines of credit to secure the supply of critical imports - fuel, power, drugs, and food - but only managed to get the US$6 million handout. Government had hoped to obtain a comprehensive economic rescue package to prevent economic collapse.

As I noted earlier, the Chinese are reverting back to their pre communist business accumen... they won't give Mugabe too much money because they don't trust him...but they will "invest" i.e. let him pressure or steal mines, farms, and businesses from his enemies and then sell them legally to the Chinese...

The Chinese think long term...fifty years from now, when the famine deaths are forgotten, they will still have businesses there...

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