Sunday, September 03, 2006

The Trouble with Mugabe's Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe today is a living hell for all and sundry. If you are in hell, there is no amount of convenience that can make you comfortable. Hell is by definition inconvenient. Period, writes Jonathan Moyo

In Zimbabwe, August is a sacred month in which the heroes of the armed liberation struggle that led to independence in 1980 are commemorated and their achievements celebrated. This year there was a twist to the usual pomp and circumstance when the memory of the many heroes had to give way to a megabucks publicity blitz on the three zeroes which the country's Central Bank, led by its ubiquitous Governor Gideon Gono, removed from the greatly devalued national currency amid anger, controversy and confusion which turned otherwise conservative money matters into a deadly battle ground in President Robert Mugabe's increasingly bitter succession war...

Poverty in Zimbabwe is above 85 percent, unemployment hovers around 90 percent, the informal sector was destroyed by Mugabe's Zanu PF government last year to the detriment of at least 18 percent of the population, inflation is just under 1,000 percent, interest rates are in the upwards of 400 percent, foreign exchange coffers are virtually dry because of a sharp decline in exports due to company closures, low production levels and the collapse of agriculture since the land invasions of 2000.

Zimbabwe not working

Because of these and related factors, the Zimbabwean economy has shrunk by more than 35 percent over the last seven years. In a nutshell, Zimbabwe is simply not working....

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