Friday, September 02, 2005

Zimbabwe economy

I have just received this and would like to share it with you. What at first glance seems funny is, in fact, extremely sad:

A Vienna sausage today costs more that a three bedroom house cost 25 years ago.

Fuel has increased by 59,000% in the last 18 months.

If you want fuel you have to buy foreign currency on the black market (illegal) drive 120 kms, smuggle your cash through an international border, and fill a container. On return you have to pay duty in Zim$ on the fuel you have purchased but you are not allowed to take out sufficient Zim$ to pay the duty anyway.

In August you are advised of the new minimum wages for July.

Kariba Bream now costs $1,200,000 per kg which is double the price of imported Hake.

Fees in Government schools are increased by 1,000% retrospective for 6 months, whilst private schools are restricted from increasing their fees at all.

Colgate toothpaste in supermarkets is kept locked in a glass display cabinet otherwise it will be stolen.

Reserve Bank officials enforce laws on illegal currency deals, yet the Bank uses illegally obtained currency to pay satellite television subscriptions.

New Zealand butter is half the price of Zimbabwe butter.

Water rationing is introduced four months after the end of the rains when the dams are already empty.

A $10 note is still in circulation and is worth 0,05 of one US cent.

A $10 note costs over $3,000 to print.

Toilet paper costs more than $10 a sheet - so it's cheaper to use the notes.

Banks charge 300% interest on overdraft but pay 0,001% interest on current account balances.

It is cheaper to hand deliver mail than to use the postal system.

Government knocks down houses when there is a housing shortage.

It can take up to a year to renew a firearms license which is only valid for three years.

A replacement drivers' license can take up to three years.

Electricity Supply Commission is unable to send out monthly accounts, so estimates the usage - a previous average usage of $250,000 p.m. is estimated at $24 million.

A monthly govt. pension of $135 00 will buy one small sip of Coke. But this is not an issue because you can't buy cokes anyway. Pensioners living outside our borders would receive half one US cent per month.

I think Mugabe would make a fortune as a political/financial oracle: imagine if he could be convinced to retire to a nice house and, for a consistent fee, give his opinion on current matters. Heads of state, chiefs of central banks, ministers, politicians from all over the world would flock to him to ask their questions; by doing exactly the opposite he suggests, they would be 100% sure that their policies are correct.


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