Things are going from dire to even more dire in that country. To quote from This Is Zimbabwe on July 5th:
It’s hard, sometimes, not to feel complete despair at what happens in our country. And I hit a low this morning when I read this via VOANEWS:
Members of Zimbabwe’s cabinet grappling with runaway inflation summoned business managers from across all sectors of the economy late Wednesday for an emergency meeting to discuss Harare’s ongoing offensive against rising prices.
National Chamber of Commerce President Marah Hativagone told VOA that business representatives intended to tell the cabinet task force on price stability that Harare has to make more foreign currency available so businesses can continue operating.
However, government sources said officials including Minister Without Portfolio Elliot Manyika, acting task force chair in the absence of Industry Minister Obert Mpofu, were to tell business leaders there is no turning back and that all businesses that close or reduce production will be nationalized and operated by the government.
Zanu PF managed to buy themselves time by stealing the farms and allocating them to a handful of Zanu PF elite who used the opportunity to either let the farms languish into nothing or asset stripped them, selling machinery and irrigation equipment for a quick smelly dollar. People forget, but just before Mugabe did this he’d just lost a referendum, the writing was on the wall for Zanu PF, and taking the farms was literally about political survival more than anything. Some people have become very very rich indeed, thanks to Robert Mugabe’s policies, and in return they prop him up.
I’m sure that unscrupulous greedy sods who already have a couple of farms in their back pockets are salivating at the chance to get their incompetent grubby hands on a few businesses that they can asset-strip, convert their ill-gotten gains to forex at the extra special Zanu PF exchange rates, and then funnel the cash out the country to secret bank accounts in despot havens. There is simply no way they can run these businesses with lower prices - raw materials cost what raw materials cost. Fuel is imported.
The country will be broken, all chance of economic recovery destroyed, because which businessperson, struggling to survive now, can start again when their equipment and tills are gone and they have to re-stock from scratch with no money because they’ve been forced into a deficit by the flat 50% reduction in cost.
It just seems so bizarre; to get the farms Mugabe whipped up nationalistic sentiment and cultivated and nurtured hate between Zimbabwean people. He paid the so-called war veterans (some were about 19 years old) to invade the farms and seize them before unceremoniously evicting the war-vets and handing farms to the elite.
This time he has manufactured a situation where he is literally going to destroy businesses and then blame the owner and seize their livelihoods, futures, pensions. Not war vets this time, its the ‘inflation police’ and their friends. The farm seizures were rationalised to the world as necessary re-distribution of land to the landless majority. Some people actually bought that - too naive and idealistic to see that Mugabe is not a liberator, he is a self-serving despot!
How is he going to dress this up for the world, and who the hell is going to believe a thing he says when Zimbabweans are dying like flies!? Oh yes, I forget, no one will know we’re dying because he’s made sure the press aren’t allowed in and he murders the ones in our country who dare tell the truth. Out of sight, out of mind.
Because, with the businesses, Mugabe will take the food and jobs and leave the nation destitute and starving. Not just the poor; everyone. When the shops are bare, not even the middle classes or the rich can buy food. Everyone. Everyone. Everyone - except the Zanu PF elite.
Funny how he is out the country when all this takes place, a nice little ‘hedge your bets’ approach. If it goes all wrong (in other words, not according to HIS plan - it is already so wrong for all of us) and he realises he has to backtrack, he will no doubt come back roaring and make someone a scape goat.
You know, the world uses a lot of words to describe Mugabe - evil, violent, autocratic, dictator etc. I would like to add a word: “thief”.
He is a thief.
I hope I am wrong, I really do, but its hard not to read it this way. I just want to weep: I’m so tired of what he’s doing to all of us.
I tend to agree with Daniel Drezner that Zimbabwe could well slide into anarchy and lawlessness.