Friday, February 01, 2008

Zimbabwe Inflation Nightmare

How is it possible to have once been called the breadbasket of Africa, now to top the charts of world wide inflation pegging the "official" rate at 24000%? We all know that it is easy to make this statement and mask it as the "official" rate...but the people on the ground, who are fighting for survival know the real rate of inflation and reliable sources are realistically pegging that at a staggering 150 000%....

Buying a chicken if you can find it in the store will cost you zw$15 000 000.00 - what a concept!

Violence is never a solution! But, to the North of the Zimbabwean border, beyond Zambia lies a nation that has similar factions in political circles that often bump heads. Recently that country held it's presidential elections. The people wanted change, they wanted the opposition to gain power and bring change to their land. Did it happen? NO. The people have responded with an outcry that has caught the attention of nations worldwide. Sadly, in the process of speaking out, rising up in unity, and making a bold stand against corruption and rigged elections, innocent lives are being lost daily. The government retained power through scamming the elections and committing fraud at the polls.

Zimbabwe heads into her elections in a matter of weeks. It is inconceivable to think that Zanu PF again endorsed Robert Mugabe. How can this individual wield such power to the extent that within his own party disgruntled leadership still cowers at the sound of his voice? Those who almost publicly indicated they would run against their despot leader have had threats come to them openly from the throne of wickedness hinting they would lose their business investments, properties, and if need be their own lives...

What made the difference in Kenya? Herein lies the solution for Zimbabwe...

Kenyans decided enough is enough! The people on the ground, yes at grassroots level began to unite within hours of the election results. They took to the streets in utter disbelief, and displayed their outrage at the ruling party attaining power through fraudulent means. They revolted a day after the elections and have not stopped from making it known they do not, will not, and cannot accept this result and want the opposition to be set in office.

Then I started thinking...let's look back in African history. Particularly centered around Zimbabwe. Two dominant tribes - Ndebele and Shona. Always at war with each other dating back to precolonial times. Mass slaughtering, and killing sprees that would horrify our modern day concept of war. These men were trained killing machines, going to battle was their prime objective. From early childhood, training was instilled and skills were attained and ranks were created to abolish their enemies. Of course both tribes had the same objectives, and both were mighty in battle. Throughout history there have always been tribal factions. Even at Independence in 1980, friction was constant and a lot of compromises were made to include both tribes in government. When the Leader of the Ndebele tribe (Joshua Nkomo) passed away, their inclusion waned and they were tolerated less and less in leadership roles. Joshua Nkomo incidentally worked with my Dad on the Rhodesia Railways...that is a story for another time.

Looking at history and the battles that were waged by these two tribes, I marvel at the state of the country today. These two formidable tribes found common ground, and unity across the nation of Zimbabwe began to take form, and has actually strengthened in unity the last few years. What was the common denominator? HARDSHIP, STARVATION, DESPAIR, SQUALOR, BONDAGE.

Inflation in Zimbabwe has rocked the charts through out the world, average life expectancy has dropped to 33 years of age, the AIDS pandemic is reducing the population at a staggering number of 6500 people every month. Parents are dying, infants are dying, Grandparents have the burden of caring for their children's children. In the major urban areas, there is no electricity, no running water, no basic staple food...the list is endless. First hand reports out of the capital city Harare say that they have gone without electricity for close to one month! Crime is at an all time high as people resort to any means possible to survive. You know...if you haven't been touched by any of the above plights, then this is just a story electronically penned in cyberspace. When you have lived through watching a loved one die from AIDS, experienced the anguish of their suffering, your life cannot be the same, you are changed. It is a gut wrenching nightmare, seeing this happen and know that the government you once voted in to power, refuses help from the western world because it feels threatened that outside help is a form of sabotage to it's so called sovereignty. When did human life become more valuable than holding office?

Quite a backdrop isn't it? So...back to my original thought and musing about the people of Kenya. If they from within a stable economy can unite and revolt against a fraudulently acquired government - then I beseech the people of Zimbabwe to look at their counterparts up north and unite in similar fashion. Tribal differences aside, if there is a time to come together it is now! Therein lies the solution to end this a people, as a nation, stand up to the evil that is prevailing for the moment, take the victory away from this wicked megalomaniac despot ruler who has himself admitted he is Zimbabwe's modern day Hitler! Change is definitely in the hands of the people...come on Zimbabwe...unite...take your country back...end this madness. You have the power, rise up...

I am note abdicating that violence is the answer. There is however strength in numbers, and it has been said "all that remains for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing". By allowing this ruler to carry on lording it over the beautiful people of Zimbabwe without end, is that exact quote being fulfilled. Yes he is a ruler...not a leader!

Zimbabweans...take head of your neighbors...they have united, and in so doing though loss of life has been incurred, they have caught the attention of the international community. For as long as you do not rise up, no one will bother, no one will pay is on the way, this will not go on infinitely.

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