Mugabe is Zimbabwe’s home-grown horror story

I will admit right up front that I haven’t been following the story of what’s going on in Zimbabwe closely for years and years, but it doesn’t take years to conclude that something is badly broken over there. I also don’t think it’s going too far out on a limb to figure out that Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has a lot to do with why the country is broken. Just like the late Idi Amin factored pretty heavily into the near destruction of Uganda during his blood-soaked rule. And just like the late Mobutu Sese Seko, former leader of Zaire who robbed his nation blind to feed the raging fires of his own gluttony.

There are other cartoonishly, gruesomely inept leaders around, and God knows they are not all located in Africa. Their only reason for existence seems to be to prove the point that dangerously incompetent people really can maneuver their way into positions of exaggerated power by fooling enough people into believing their line of bullshit. They do this by packaging said bullshit into well-tailored boxes of rose pedals and incense, then wrapping these boxes tight with the carefully controlled and manipulated ignorance of the people. With these types, by the time you find out the true nature – and magnitude – of their sickness, it’s far too late.

And yes, President George Bush No. 2 does, indeed come to mind.

Anyway, I guess what got me interested in what’s happening over there is because I very well remember the time when black-ruled Zimbabwe was white-ruled Rhodesia. I remember how glad I was to hear that twisted crew of oppressive, racist white British colonialists  were finally being sent packing from Rhodesia-turned-Zimbabwe by the nation’s black majority. The destruction that European colonialism and wreaked upon the African continent over so many decades is almost too large to measure, so it was good to see some of the world’s foremost colonialists, the British, getting a black African boot stamp on their backsides.

I remember when some of the whites were squawking about their farms being taken from them and how they were being mistreated and abused by the new black leadership, namely Mugabe, and I couldn’t help but grin. “So how does it feel?” I remember thinking. I couldn’t care less what was happening to them and figured they pretty much deserved everything they got. What goes around comes around.

Robert Mugabe

Robert Mugabe

But now Rhodesia is Zaire, and the oppressor is the same black man elected by the people to deliver them. And for years the African National Congress has tried to remain silent and non-openly judgmental about Mugabe’s atrocities because they know quite well the nature of the whites whom he replaced. But that is now changing because even the ANC simply cannot remain silent about something so glaring. In April, breaking away from South African President Mbeki, who apparently has been pursuing “quiet diplomacy” toward Zimbabwe that quite obviously has not been working, the ANC came out in the open with their criticisms of the regime.

And how long is it possible to stay silent when the nation’s inflation rate is said to be 2.2 million percent??? I mean damn. How is that even possible? I’m not an economist, but when a country has an inflation rate of 2.2 million percent it’s pretty easy to figure it’s time to sound the damned alarm and give up on the quiet diplomacy approach. I guess I understand not wanting to attack a fellow brother leader who helped deliver Zimbabwe from the whites, especially from the perspective of South African blacks. But Mugabe is not Mandela, and all brothers aren’t your brother.

Check out this clip from the Associated Press:

“Zimbabwe Reserve Bank Gov. Gideon Gono announced the new figure of 2.2 million percent at the launch of a program to sell subsidized food through selected shops and a system of coupons issued to the needy, state radio reported Thursday.

The central bank also released a schedule showing what it called distortions in prices caused by black market trading and profiteering by businesses.

It said laundry soap on the black market went up by 70 million percent, cooking oil by 60 million percent and sugar by 36 million percent — far higher than the official inflation rate of 2.2 million percent calculated by the Central Statistical Office on basic goods subject to price regulation and price increases approved by state National Prices and Incomes Commission.

“It said a 4-pound bag of sugar cost about 20 billion Zimbabwe dollars — $1 — at the government’s fixed price, and 90 billion on the black market $4.50 at the bank exchange rate, or $1 at the black market exchange — in a country where unskilled workers earn up to 200 billion Zimbabwean dollars, about $10, a month.

However, few have jobs: unemployment has reached 80 percent.”

Enough said.



~ by Keith A. Owens on July 24, 2008.

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