"If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality." --Bishop Desmond Tutu

Monday, October 20, 2008

Zimbabwe: The new North Korea?

Although this article falls somewhat in the category of "this time we really, really mean it," The Economist presents a stark vision of Zimbabwe's future if something doesn't change soon. The failure to implement any kind of power-sharing between "Dictator-for-all-Eternity" Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has Zimbabwe at the brink of complete collapse. The failure of mediator Thabo Mbeki, former President of South Africa, has pushed Zimbabwe to the brink yet again.
Zimbabwe is dying. It is hard to imagine the misery worsening, yet it is. The currency is worthless. Swathes of public-sector workers are no longer getting paid enough even to buy a few loaves of bread a month; many are not getting paid at all. More than 80% of the people are thought to have no job, beyond subsistence and barter. Some 3m in a population of around 12m have fled abroad. Harrowing reports are filtering out that people are starting to die of starvation. More than 1.4m are suffering from HIV/AIDS. The UN’s World Food Programme is trying to keep 2m people alive with food handouts but says that another 3m may need feeding by early next year if mass starvation is to be averted. Mr Mugabe’s thugs are still beating and sometimes killing supposed backers of Mr Tsvangirai.
So while we weep for our depreciated 401k and IRA accounts, let's remember there are people in the world who are governed by the most incompetent and feral leaders the world has ever seen. Leaders who make Kim Jong Ill look capable and rational. The country is beyond hyper-inflation (approaching 1,000,000,000%) and people are going to start dying unless someone does something soon.

No comments: