Thursday, April 24, 2008

Zimbabwe and Free Will

As you may know, while I grew up in South Africa, I was originally born in Zimbabwe, although it was called Rhodesia at the time. Zimbabwe has been in trouble for a number of years now, and it continues to get worse. Inflation is around 15,000% (Last time I checked at least), unemployment is off the charts and basic food and other needs are in short supply.

The leader, one Robert Mugabe is a dictator and grows increasingly corrupt. Finally it appears that the opposition party may have won the elections this year, but...

Mr. Mugabe claims that he will not release the election results until he knows they are accurate. It's been a month, and he is still asking for recounts. Meanwhile, he has threatened to charge anyone who claims that the opposition has won with treason. He claims it is an attempt to start a coup.

As this has been going on, a shipment of arms (3 million rounds and a ton of RPGs) was shipped from Chine to the South African Port of Durban. The president of South Africa, Mr. Mbeki has said that they cannot prevent the arms from being delivered.

Mr. Mbeki is in a precarious position... He is the only world leader who is still on speaking terms with Mr Mugabe, and such, should hopefully be able to persuade the man that his time is up, but he doesn't seem willing to do this. It's a situation I'm glad that I am not in.

This morning however, I heard that the dock workers union in South Africa has refused to unload the arms!

It's always good when the free will of the people trumps the incompetence of government. I think it's just a matter of time, before the free will of the people takes care of the rest of the problem.


  1. Well good on the dockworker unions, someone/something needs to stand up to that lunatic. Of course, the worry is, if he does finally go (no doubt taking the last of the cash with him) what sort of chaos will follow?

  2. The gentlemen who is likely (hopefully) to take office has said that it is going to take a while to dig themselves out of this. Several years at the absolute minumum. I mispoke as well. Inflation is believed to be about 160,000 percent right now, but with numbers that high, no-one really knows what it is for sure.

    I think it's possible for them to recover, but it's going to take a fair amount of work, and the country will need to pull together to make it happen, but I think they have what it takes.

    Rumor has it that a number of international investors are ready and waiting for the situation to stabilize so they can help out (mostly for financial gain I'm sure, but it will still help.)

    Zimbabwe has the second largest platinum resource in the world, and a number of other things going for it. I would try and convince the wife to let us move back and help out, but I already no the answer to that one...

  3. The people are getting sick of Mbeki too. I hear the ANC has assigned another guy to be the president of the party which means Mbeki doesn't get another term come the next election.

    Hopefully they can get Mugabe out and get a better ANC president in place and they can start fixing some things down there.

  4. Isn't Zuma the guy who replaced Mbeki? I've heard some pretty good things about him.

    If only Nelson Mandela was a little younger, or could be cloned. I think a couple of leaders like him, and they might get some real positive change going.

    Mbeki is in a tricky situation though. He has Mugabes ear, so if it were possible to reach a diplomatic solution, he's the one to do it, but it's a delicate balance he has to find between encouraging him to do the right thing, and offending him and making the situation worse.