Wednesday, August 1, 2007

The Most Surreal Country on Earth?

Surreal to me. But not to those who have to live there. Zimbabwe is run by a lunatic with a Hitler moustache, and things just keep getting worse and worse.

Take this article, for example:

IMF warns Zim inflation could hit 100 000%

August 01 2007 at 12:04AM

Prices in Zimbabwe could be 1 000 times higher at the end of this year than they were at the beginning, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicted on Tuesday.

Once the breadbasket of southern Africa, Zimbabwe's economy is crippled by acute food, fuel and foreign currency shortages.

"If recent monthly trends continue, IMF staff projects that year-on-year inflation could well exceed 100 000 percent by year-end," Abdoulaye Bio Tchane, director of the IMF's Africa department, said in an interview in Maputo.

Zimbabwe already has the world's highest inflation rate, now officially running above 4 500 percent, although analysts believe the figure to be double that. Critics blame the policies of President Robert Mugabe, including the seizure of thousands of white-owned farms.

Hundreds of business people and traders in Zimbabwe have been arrested and fined for overcharging or failing to display prices, but the price blitz has worsened shortages of most basic goods such as the staple maize-meal, cooking oil, meat and sugar.

Mugabe's African peers have largely refused to intervene or even criticize him as things have gone from worse to worse over the last several years. The Organization of African Unity is practicing the wrong kind of unity.


  1. This was a topic of conversation at work, two of my co-workers are from Africa. I asked them why Mugabe would allow Zimbabwe to go to financial ruin. They said that Mugabe was trying to please the white people who put in him power.

    I was stunned, since I knew that whites were pushed off farms. The subject was changed quickly, but it was revealing to me how Africans veiw the situation.

  2. They have it exactly backwards.

    Mugabe has a long and very public record of dispossessing white farmers and business owners - many of whom were actually native Africans, having been born on the continent. Now that most of the whites have been driven out (and Indians too, if I'm remembering correctly?), he's moved on to abusing blacks, because that's more or less all that's left.

    I think the African leaders won't criticize him because to do so would be a sign of disunity. "We've got to stick together."

  3. What will Mugabe do when there is no country left to abuse? When he becomes the leader of nothing left? And where is his paycheck coming from, by the way?

    That's what astounds me about totalitarian regimes. After awhile, when everything is in ruin, then what do they think will be left to do? Rebuild the country and then destroy it again?