Day By Day

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Zimbabwe Update -- Is This the End of Bobby?

Bobby Mugabe's malignantly insane witches brew of racism, Maoism, and anti-colonialism has damaged Zimbabwe to the point where even ZANU-PF is starting to disobey the old monster.

Michael Wines in the NYT reports:

JOHANNESBURG, Feb. 6 — For close to seven years Zimbabwe’s economy and quality of life have been in slow, uninterrupted decline. They are still declining this year, people there say, with one notable difference: the pace is no longer so slow.

Indeed, Zimbabwe’s economic descent has picked up so much speed that President Robert G. Mugabe. the nation’s leader for 27 years, is starting to lose support from parts of his own party.

In recent weeks, the national power authority has warned of a collapse of electrical service. A breakdown in water treatment has set off a new outbreak of cholera in the capital, Harare. All public services were cut off in Marondera, a regional capital of 50,000 in eastern Zimbabwe, after the city ran out of money to fix broken equipment. In Chitungwiza, just south of Harare, electricity is supplied only four days a week.

The government awarded all civil servants a 300 percent raise two weeks ago. But the increase is only a fraction of the inflation rate, so the nation’s 110,000 teachers are staging a work slowdown for more money. Measured by the black-market value of Zimbabwe’s ragtag currency, even their new salaries total less than 60 American dollars a month.

Doctors and nurses have been on strike for five weeks, seeking a pay increase of nearly 9,000 percent, and health care is all but nonexistent. Harare’s police chief warned in a recently leaked memo that if rank-and-file officers did not get a substantial raise, they might riot.

Read it here.

The situation is actually much worse than the Times reports. See here, here, here, here, here, oh Hell, just search my blog for "Zimbabwe" -- there are dozens of posts.

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