Tuesday, February 07, 2006

New Paradigm needed for Zim

In order to run any country, one needs a solid middle class which understands the implications of rising interest rates and the attendant pitfalls of a depreciating currency.

My beloved brothers in government are so ignorant of the simplest things in life. They read about German inflation, a woman carrying a wheelbarrow full of German marks in order to buy groceries. Such people are either intentionally wicked when they allow the central bank to charge minimum interest rates of 540 percent, or they are plain childishly naïve.

Do they know that the great companies like Walmart and K-Mart in the US are lucky to make a six percent profit on their merchandise? These brothers have no understanding when they depreciate money by 18 000 percent. If one owed $100 and the money was devalued by 18 000 times, one would owe $1 800 000.

Apart from their economic ignorance, my brothers are deliciously naïve. This naivety, I believe is embedded in the African ethos as well. Look at the childish naivety in their welcoming the World Bank representatives. The World Bank does not care about Zimbabweans, or the Zimbabwean veterans. It wants us to pay our loans to western lenders. Dr Nyerere asked this question: "Shall we starve our children in order to pay you?" The answer is YES, STUPID. Look at their naivety in believing that Britain and the US will come to their aid? The World Bank is an American bank. It is not going to do anything against US policy -- and US policy requires that formerly white-owned land be returned to its titled owners or there be adequate compensation.

Unless there is a new generation of rulers who appreciate the realities of the modern world, are not naïve in believing that the western world is out to save us from ourselves, who understand that if you build a presidential house in a neighbourhood, one's neighbours too have mortgages to pay. Whispers of confiscation can squash property values, and thus the life savings of one's neighbours.

Now you will say: "Ken, but surely these brothers can learn this new paradigm." I did not learn this new paradigm at school. I learned it by running a real estate business. The smallest whispers, say, that the police are hanging around your restaurant looking for drug dealers, can cause a shutdown of the business, and a man's lifetime savings goes down the drain.

I don't think the brothers have the slightest idea of what they are doing. My sister had a life insurance for $240 000 for which she contributed for 25 years. When she died, it was not enough to buy her daughter's uniforms. My nephew, a newspaper editor, had a good pension of $5 000 a month in the year 2000. He cannot buy one banana with it now.

It is the economy stupid! Mr Blair and Mr Bush are laughing their lungs out till hell freezes over.

1 comment:

chimurenga said...

i have no doubt gono & company are well aware of the consequences of their 'economic policies'...they just dont care so long as they remain in power.

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