Zimbabwe in a vicious circle
This is important. For Mugabe to have swallowed such a drastic economic measure against all his beliefs and fears, he must really be worried about his skin. Because of his stubbornness, it is probably too late and it will mean more unnecessary hardship for Zimbabweans:
Zimbabwe is set to remove all price controls with Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa admitting they have contributed significantly to the current hyper-inflationary environment in South Africa's embattled northern neighbour, reports said.
It is not clear whether the change of stance is a result of pressure from South Africa which has reportedly prescribed removals of most government controls in the economy as one condition for a $470-million (about R3,1-billion) loan being negotiated with Zimbabwe.
That Mugabe stole the elections is no secret and Tsvangirai is challenging, in court, the results:
Zimbabwe's supreme court began hearing a petition from opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai on Thursday. The petition challenges Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's victory in elections three-and-a-half years ago. Tsvangirai's lawyer argued that the constitutional rights of the leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) had been violated because the case had been delayed for so long.
Not that he has a chance in hell, but if there is a decent faction left in ZANU PF, they should see this as a golden opportunity to undermine Mugabe's grip on power and get rid of him "legally".
In the meantime Zimbabwe and South Africa have signed a military agreement, coincidentally showing the world how far yet they have to go to become real countries:
The intelligence ministers of South Africa and Zimbabwe took exception to a reporter's question on human rights at the signing of a bilateral agreement in Cape Town on Thursday. Zimbabwean minister Dydimus Mutasa called on defence and security officials from both Zimbabwe and South Africa to pray for the forgiveness of the journalist, who accused Zimbabwe of human rights abuses.
The journalist asked intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils how South Africa, with a "good human rights track record", could sign agreements with Zimbabwe, who was said to have a "poor human rights record". A clearly embarrassed Kasrils immediately apologised for the journalist's question.
Nobody - not even their mothers - will ever accuse Mutasa or Kasrils to be intelligent persons despite their official roles, but this is a faux pas that betrays the fact that democracy is still a joke to them.
We now learn from South Africa that Mugabe is only trying to correct colonial injustices:
"They have very daunting challenges. They are very frank about the kind of problems they have to deal with. We agree with them fully when they situate those problems within a context related to the colonial status of Zimbabwe, which for so many years had the name Rhodesia thrust upon them."
If Africa doesn't generate a new political class, prepared to use the brain instead of repeating the same crap over and over and playing the victim forever, there is no hope at all. Unfortunately, they find themselves in the same quandary of many Arab countries: to hold on to their oppressive and corrupt regimes they brainwash the people to focus their discontent on imaginary foes and therefore create a vicious circle that goes on ad infinitum.
Mugabe is getting more and more scared (as he should):
A source in the security forces, who cannot be named, said: "Tsvangirai is also fuelling their (the government) fears like when he told a rally in Bulawayo last Sunday that the only way to remove Mugabe was through mass action. "Operatives of the Central Intelligence Organisation (state spy organ) and the Police Internal Security Intelligence who were monitoring the rally highlighted Tsvangirai's remarks in their reports and the next day, on Monday, we were all put on alert." As part of the state of high preparedness, all soldiers and police were from the beginning of this week ordered to report for duty every day of the week including weekends. Even those who are sick have been ordered back to their bases or camps where government doctors shall assess whether they can be put on active duty. Soldiers shall be required to remain on standby in their barracks or their normal residences. But the police will be out on the streets and have been instructed to always wear their full uniform and to carry baton sticks or their service weapons in an apparent show of force intended as a warning to ordinary people on the costs of revolting against the government.
Thanks to Mugabe's retarded policies, even traditional donors (always happy to support dictatorial regimes) are shying away from Zimbabwe:
The Zimbabwean government had initially rejected the UN offer to build temporary shelters as there was "no humanitarian crisis", only to make an about-turn this week. In its acceptance letter the government laid down specifications for the construction of permanent brick and concrete one-room shelters.
The government wants us to build shelters for its own list of beneficiaries, while we would like to help all those in need and left homeless," said a western diplomat.
Imagine the precedent we will be setting - any country can go ahead, demolish informal settlements and ask the international community to rehabilitate them," the diplomat commented.
Counting the days...