Thursday, July 31, 2008

100 Billion Dollars - Chump Change?

It is if you're holding 100-billion Zimbabwean dollars which, incidentally, is less than the price of a loaf of bread in that country today.

What to do, what to do? Well Zimbabwe has decided to simply knock 10-zeroes off its currency. Now, $100-billion becomes a more manageable one dollar, for the next few days at least.

Big deal. Economists estimate that the country's annual inflation rate is as much as six times higher than the officially acknowledged 2.2-million per cent rate. 2.2 million versus 12.5 million, who cares? It doesn't matter who's right, it really doesn't.

There's only one way out for Zimbabwe and that entails President Robert Mugabe either swinging from the end of a rope or locked away in some dungeon. He knows it and so does everyone else. Of course that would also mean pretty much the same fate for Mugabe's cronies and minions which include his murderous military and security services. They're propping him up because their only way out is decidedly unpleasant.

Mugabe is now in power sharing talks with the country's political opposition but, out of necessity, Mugabe insists that any deal must leave him as leader of the new government. To Mugabe, leader means dictator and so he's essentially asking the opposition to consign itself to irrelevancy and place themselves at the mercy of his security forces. Ouch, ouch and ouch.

For the sake of the people of Zimbabwe this dark farce must stop but there is too much force defending him within the country and a woeful lack of resolve to intervene by the leaders of Zimbabwe's neighbours.

If only Zimbabwe had oil.

1 comment:

Fish said...

Dammit! I knew I shouldn't have inested my life savings into Zimbabwean currency!