Thursday, December 04, 2008

Frustration high in Zimbabwe

From the CSMonitor:

....Starting Nov. 27 and continuing until Monday, Army soldiers rampaged through the capital, Harare, after hearing that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe would be unable to print enough currency to pay their daily wages. Hundreds of soldiers took their anger out on street vendors, looting the markets for food and other goods.

Combined with the Monday cutoff of public water supplies, for lack of chemicals to prevent the spread of rampant cholera, the regime of President Robert Mugabe appears to be imploding.

The looting by members of the armed forces is the beginning of an end to Mr. Mugabe's regime, says University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer John Makumbe. "It might look or sound small, but it is an indication of the dissatisfaction that is in the Army and the general public of Zimbabwe," he says.

Declaring the end game for a regime as tenacious as Mugabe's is, of course, a risky venture. Judging by most measures, Mugabe's government should have collapsed long ago – yet somehow it keeps going. But rebellion by well-trained, well-armed soldiers in the capital city is never a good sign, and with hopes of a political compromise between Mugabe and his opposition rival Morgan Tsvangirai diminishing, the possibility of a violent and uncontrollable uprising seems to be increasing by the day.

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