Zimbabwe: Robert Mugabe's Hell on Earth

Zimbabwe: Robert Mugabe’s Hell on Earth

Zimbabwe has scrapped a scheme allowing fuel purchases with foreign currency, removing one of the few remaining ways for people to acquire petrol in a country struggling with a crumbling economy. The facility is also used by foreign diplomats and officials working for international aid organisations, and the move, along with the government’s hostile reaction to a new offer of U.S. food aid, underlined President Robert Mugabe’s hardline stance.

Zimbabwe has experienced several years of acute fuel shortages as an economic crisis many blame on Mugabe’s government has left the country with no foreign currency reserves and the highest inflation rate in the world. Three weeks ago, Mugabe ordered a blitz to slash prices by half after the cost of some basic foodstuffs rose three-fold within a week, saying businesses were doing this as part of a Western-sponsored plot to oust his government.

The price freeze has sparked a wave of panic buying that has emptied Zimbabwean shops of basic commodities, and critics say the formal economy is tottering on the brink of total collapse. In a statement broadcast by state media on Thursday, a committee enforcing the price cuts said the government had banned foreign currency coupons allowing people to get scarce fuel from private oil companies or individual importers. “The Task Force is giving all coupon holders two weeks from today, within which to acquit their coupons. No new fuel coupon sales should be made forthwith,” it said.

No reasons were given for the move, and both government and private oil companies were not immediately available for comment. In the past the government has accused fuel coupon holders of selling fuel on the black market at highly inflated prices.

This is what happens when statism and a cult of personality force the denial of economic realities. Well here’s a poke in the eye with a sharp stick (going on 30 years now) to all the Mugabe supporters who thought his ZANU forced wealth redistribution schemes would be better than Rhodesian colonialism.

Power to the people! Long live socialism!

Comments (2 comments)

Nickson Mutara / July 19th, 2007, 10:05 pm / #1

Why is it that we don’t get anyone condemning the sharp price rises that were becoming the order of the day? Why is Tsvangirai and company comfortable with sanctions? Why is a personal vendetta against the President being taken to every citizen? The thinking that colonialism was better is the worst to emerge from any person. Why do we have to be pressed against the rock to turn us against our leaders?

Why does it seem like Tsvangirai and company have more sympathy in the west than from Africa? AFRICA HAS ONLY ONE CHANCE TO SHOW WHAT THEY ARE MADE OF. THAT CHANCE IS ZIMBABWE.

Reality Czech / July 20th, 2007, 7:01 am / #2

The “sharp price rises” were only sharp when measured in the hyper-inflating Zimbabwe currency.  Mugabe could have stopped that inflation by halting the printing presses and getting the farms back into operation to get some export earnings, but that would have meant putting his country ahead of his cronies.

Africa has had a bunch of “one chances”.  Nigeria’s oil wealth is used to enforce the supremacy of certain tribes; South Africa is in the process of driving out the white minority (which is the heart of the economy); Zimbabwe is showing just what really bad management can do.

Tribalism is the route to disaster, and stupidity kills.

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