Saturday, February 24, 2007

Signs of endgame for Mugabe

IHT says signs are there that people are getting tired of Mugabe...

What they ignore is the MaShona culture, that stresses cooperation and endurance of oppression/poverty etc without complaint. My fear is that "even a small snake has a tooth", and that when the outburst comes, it will be terrible, like a flood held back by a dam, that causes destruction when the dam breaks.

"....Opposition supporters wanted to protest the high cost of living and Mugabe's plan to extend his term of office to 2010.

A rate of hyperinflation — running at near 1,600 percent — that economists say soon will be represented by an upright line on a graph has the country in revolt. The number of Zimbabwe dollars that bought a three-bedroom house with a swimming pool and tennis court in 1990 today will buy one sole brick.

A lifetime public worker's monthly pension can't buy a loaf of bread. Charities have reported depression, suicide and malnutrition among retirees — including a type of vitamin deficiency affecting gums, bones and hair loss.

Doctors and nurses have been on strike since December and the rest of the civil service is threatening to join them.

The list of deserters on the walls of army barracks grows ever longer despite a 300 percent pay raise in January. The military want a 1,000 percent increase. The police chief in the capital, Harare, has said in a confidential memo that he fears his constables will riot.

A hairdresser paid the minimum monthly wage of $30,000 said her bus fare to work cost more but she went anyway to get the tips from clients that keep her and a daughter alive.

Political scientist Makumbe said a 16-year-old who broke his collar bone falling out of a tree has lain at home in pain for days because his widowed mother does not have the million Zimbabwe dollars needed to have the bone set.

Makumbe said an estimated 70,000 people have died this year not because of the doctor's strike but because there are no drugs and because medical equipment like dialysis machines doesn't work any more.

Bread disappeared off the shelves this week after the government increased the price of grain sold to millers by 10,000 percent but did not increase the controlled price for bread.

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