Tag Archives: Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe?

13 Mar

If the Governor of South Carolina doesn’t want to take, and doesn’t feel the need to help his people or his economy through taking his state’s $2.8 billion of stimulus money, that’s all well and good. Given that South Carolina has the country’s second-highest unemployment rate, I’m sure Governor Mark Sanford is confident that he knows what he’s doing.

But to suggest that the US will end up like Zimbabwe as a result of Keynesian pump-priming is a bit silly.

The Zimbabwean economy was based on agriculture (it was known as Africa’s bread basket), and party political kleptomania on the part of ZANU-PF. Its economic failure was triggered by, and is sustained in large part by, the tragic “land reform” expropriation of professionally-run farms that took place during the last decade.

I’d like to think that the US economy is a bit stronger and a bit larger, more resilient, and more diversified than Zimbabwe’s, but what do I know.

Madness

3 Aug

‘Scuse me, but can you make change for a $5 billion?

Image courtesy courtneyleighdenney @ Flickr

Monday

21 Jul

Two events that seemed unthinkable on Friday, occurred on Monday.

1. Zimbabwe’s ruling ZANU-PF and opposition MDC executed a “memorandum of understanding” with an eye towards national unity and reconciliation. No word on whether Bass Pro is interested.

2. Radovan Karadži?, who is a truly bad guy, has been captured without incident in Serbia and will soon be on his way to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in the Hague. You know when people arbitrarily throw around the Hitler comparatives with respect to any manner of politics with which they disagree? Karadži? and his military cohort, Ratko Mladi? targeted civilians, shelled and sniped Sarajevo for 43 months, set up concentration camps, and committed the Srebrenica massacre. Serbia has a brand-new government, and this is a bold move to help hasten Serbia’s re-integration to modern Europe. Alas, Mladi? remains at large.

Watch ZANU-PF Rig the Election

5 Jul

This blockbuster video, shot and smuggled out of Zimbabwe by prison guard Shepherd Yuda with the Guardian’s help, is proof of just one of the many ways Mugabe ensured his “re-election” last week. Most chilling is the video where all the prison guards are told “Forward with ZANU-PF, down with MDC” and that “even if Tsvangirai wins the election…he will never rule this country.”

Of course, none of this is unique in Africa, so one of the questions is why we care and pay attention to this tip of the iceberg. When Mugabe traveled to the African Union summit in Egypt soon after his “re-election”, he was embraced, not condemned.

Butcher Mugabe

24 Jun

Although the opposition MDC candidate Morgan Tsvangirai won the first round of Presidential elections outright in late March, (and more likely than not with 50% plus one, which would have obviated the need for a run-off), that run-off is scheduled to be held on June 27th.

The entire thing appears to have been an opportunity for Mugabe’s ZANU-PF to basically kill or threaten to kill anyone associated with, or planning to vote for, the opposition.

Tsvangirai has dropped out of this complete sham of a race and sought sanctuary in the Dutch embassy. Sokwanele has been keeping track of anti-opposition government violence here. The brutality is medieval, and to make matters worse, Mugabe basically blames the opposition for it all.

Other sub-Saharan African leaders have become more vocal about Mugabe’s brutality, and even the UN Security Council got involved.

“The Security Council condemns the campaign of violence against the political opposition ahead of the second round of the Presidential elections scheduled for 27 June, which has resulted in the killing of scores of opposition activists and other Zimbabweans and the beating and displacement of thousands of people, including many women and children.

“The Security Council further condemns the actions of the Government of Zimbabwe that have denied its political opponents the right to campaign freely, and calls upon the Government of Zimbabwe to stop the violence, to cease political intimidation, to end the restrictions on the right of assembly and to release the political leaders who have been detained. The Council urges the international monitors and observers to remain in Zimbabwe while the crisis continues.

“The Security Council regrets that the campaign of violence and the restrictions on the political opposition have made it impossible for a free and fair election to take place on 27 June. The Council further considers that, to be legitimate, any government of Zimbabwe must take account of the interests of all its citizens. The Council notes that the results of the 29 March 2008 elections must be respected.

“The Security Council expresses its concern over the impact of the situation in Zimbabwe on the wider region. The Council welcomes the recent international efforts, including those of SADC leaders and particularly President Mbeki. The Security Council calls on the Zimbabwean authorities to cooperate fully with all efforts, including through the UN, aimed at finding a peaceful way forward, through dialogue between the parties, that allows a legitimate government to be formed that reflects the will of the Zimbabwean people.

“The Security Council further expresses its concern at the grave humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe and condemns the suspension by the Government of Zimbabwe of the operations of humanitarian organizations, which has directly affected one and a half million people, including half a million children. The Council calls on the Government of Zimbabwe to immediately allow humanitarian organizations to resume their services.

“The Security Council will continue to monitor closely the situation and requests the Secretary-General to report on ongoing regional and international efforts to resolve the crisis.”

Unfortunately, there is probably nothing the Security Council can or will do about this, because it is a wholly internal affair and does not threaten the security of the region or other nations, although an argument could be made that any dramatic increase in refugees from the violence might count.

Oh, and the image above is Mugabe’s his piss-poor full-page campaign ad, which blames the British, and promises Zimbabwe “it’s now time” to enjoy the “gains of independence”. Zimbabwe has been independent for 28 years. It was Africa’s breadbasket. It could be a relatively stable example of democracy like Botswana, but has instead become a mismanaged basket-case with a brutal totalitarian dictator and hyperinflation.

And I second what this HuffPo writer says. The crisis in Zimbabwe is artificial, reversible, and deserves far more attention than it’s currently getting:

What I am asking is whether Barack Obama will use his rapidly growing international credibility and speak out against the terrible cruelties perpetrated by Mugabe and his henchman. Will he put in a discrete call to Mugabe’s chief enabler, South African president Thabo Mbeki and demand that he stop supporting the thug over the border and instruct his U.N. ambassador to stop blocking the subject being brought before the Security Council. I know the candidate is busy but this is a crisis that just won’t wait.

In the interest of bipartisanship I ask the same question of John McCain.

Finally, in the interest of the New World Order, where politicians have less power than they like us to think, I ask Bill Clinton, Bill Gates and Bono if they would stop congratulating themselves for a few days and get on a plane to Harare — a city with all modern conveniences — and refuse to leave until a free and fair election can be contested.

Mugabe: Godwin's Law Need Not Apply

25 Apr

Robert Mugabe is one thug who won’t let a little thing like an election stand in the way of brutal repression of any opposition.

The former freedom fighter who has clung to power for 28 years and sports an anachronistic, eyebrow-raising Hitler mustache, quite clearly lost re-election on March 29th. We know that with clear certainty. We know it despite the fact that official results of the election have not been released. We know it despite the fact that Zimbabwe’s election commission is conducting a “re-count” of votes despite the fact that there are no results announced yet.

Why and how do we know it? We’ll let Jendayi Frazer, assistant secretary of state for African Affairs take that one:

“This is a government rejecting the will of the people,” Ms. Frazer said, referring to the Zimbabwe electoral commission’s refusal to announce who won the March 29 presidential election. “If they had voted for Mugabe, the results would already have been announced. Everyone knows what time it is.”

Bingo. If Mugabe had won, it would have been announced instantly. Yet here we are almost a month later, and Mugabe’s ZANU-PF has taken to totalitarian, terrorist tactics to silence the victorious opposition. What better way to try and consolidate your absolute power than to raid the opposition’s HQ and arrest everyone in sight? Oh, and don’t forget to beat them within an inch of their lives.

As a leaflet being distributed in Harare points out, “just because ZANU-PF and Robert Mugabe are thrashing about like a fish on a hook, it doesn’t mean that we have lost.”

Zimbabwe

9 Apr

On March 29th, the people of Zimbabwe voted for change; for a future. They voted to reject the old, brutal socialist and replace him with people who would look out for the people’s best interests. To climb out of inflation of over $100,000, and reclaim Zimbabwe’s historic position as the breadbasket of Africa.

Not unsurprisingly, Mugabe is back up to his old tricks.

In a democracy, the winners win and the losers lose.

Mugabe pwnage

2 Apr

From a South African radio station, courtesy of Sokwanele. Note the office hours of the “Zimbabwe Embassy”.

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On Zimbabwe

11 Mar

Possibly the most important election in the world right now is happening in Zimbabwe – a country that has gone from being Africa’s breadbasket to being Africa’s basket case. All thanks to the mismanagement and megalomania of one man, who at 84 has exceeded his country’s current life expectancy almost threefold.

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