Sunday, July 29, 2007

African Dictator Reaches Bottom, Keeps Digging

Reading recent accounts of the occurrences in the unfortunate nation of Zimbabwe one could wonder if its president, Robert Mugabe should seek psychiatric counseling.

The official currency inflation for the nation is now at 4,500% which is just under double that of 2006. Independent economists however, calculate the real inflation rate at twice that (9,000%???). As Zimbabwe's society descends further into the abysmal pit of financial and economic disaster, Mr. Mugabe has elected to "dig harder". In order to address the disaster of deteriorating infrastructure and government services Mr. Mugabe states: "Where money for projects has not been found, we will print it." He appears to be even less sophisticated than his fascist colleague in Venezuela who has opted for deleting 3 zeroes from the new banknotes to be issued in January of 2008 and designated the "Bolivar Fuerte" (strong Bolivar).

In typical fascist fashion those responsible for the disaster are insisting on killing the messenger:
Senior government ministers responsible for Zimbabwe’s price control campaign want President Robert Mugabe to sack his close confidant, Gideon Gono, the Reserve Bank governor. [...]
Government price controls were ordered in late June and as a result commodities have disappeared from store shelves. Some 5,000 managers and gas station and store owners have been arrested and fined for defying the price controls since the order was issued June 26.
Compounding the tragedy:
Two weeks ago, the Mugabe government ordered businesses to cut prices by half, threatening businesspeople with imprisonment if they failed to comply and warning that factories that closed or retrenched workers would be nationalized [yep. that'll solve it].
Daily power outages are forcing Zimbabweans to light fires for cooking and heating water. State radio reported Friday that a woodlands park used for conservation classes faced collapse because wood poachers had stripped nearly 500 acres of its indigenous msasa trees and other long-burning hardwoods.
At what point, one wonders, will the value of the paper and ink used to produce Zimbabwe currency exceed its face value? On reflection however, this may be a business opportunity. The banknotes can be shipped to Cuba to be used as toilet paper where none now exists. In turn Cuba can trade some of the oil donated to it by Hugo Chávez for the banknotes. I leave it to you, dear reader, to determine the losers in this daisy chain.

cross posted at: Eternity Road

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