September 28, 2006

Zimbabwe: let's review

I have written in the past about the slow motion train wreck that has turned Zimbabwe from a healthy exporter to the leading example of what corrupt governance can do to destroy a nation and inflict horrible suffering on its citizens. I have not written on this subject for some time, mostly because I despair of change. Mugabe ain't going anywhere and watching him recently in Cuba embracing Chavez and that asshole from Iran made me want to vomit blood. World leaders in the non-aligned movement, the Third World, and the African nations recoil from the thought of even suggesting that Mugabe is a brutal dictator who is crushing his country.

The Economist brought a nice reminder this morning on the train about how badly things are going in Zimbabwe:

Food, fuel and other essentials are in painfully short supply (shops in Harare, the capital, are even running out of bread). Power cuts are routine, three-quarters of the population have no job, inflation is at 1,200%—the highest rate on the planet. The economy shrank by nearly half in the six years to 2005, and most people now rely on remittances from some of the 3m-4m Zimbabweans living abroad.

One adult in five may be infected with HIV, and AIDS is thought to kill nearly 500 people every day. Drugs could have saved many of them, but there is almost no money for that. People with jobs see 5% of their salaries deducted, supposedly to finance a national AIDS programme. Yet getting treated in government clinics is difficult, and patients must pay Z$3,000 for a monthly course of pills. Private treatment is much more costly.

The world doesn't care and the internal opposition, when not beaten down by the police/army/security forces, is split and disorganized.

I'm glad we've had this little review. I feel ever so much more hopeful.

Posted by Random Penseur at September 28, 2006 08:18 AM | TrackBack

What can we do? Don't take that wrong, I really want to know.

Posted by: Brian B at September 29, 2006 12:38 AM
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