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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Hope at the End of the Dark Tunnel for Zimbabwe?

Zimbabweans go to the polls this weekend amid so much pressure. What with soaring commodity prices and inflation past the 100,000% mark and still 'heating up'.

President Mugabe called for the reduction of commodity prices yesterday but least can be done about it, as it were. One only wonders why politicians think that the electorate are dunder heads and can not understand what is happening.

We hope that the three contestants for the presidential seat have the interests of the country at heart. If they don't, then the country is headed for EVEN harder times.

Mr Mugabe

Dr Simba Makoni

Mr Morgan Tsvangirai

ODM Statement on Controversial Safaricom IPO


Anonymous said...

Right now the focus is on getting Mugabe out.

The truth is that Zimbabwe too has "historic injustices" that need to be dealt with.


And their land situation is more desparate than Kenya's.

Anonymous said...

you are dreaming - just as most of you did during the Kenyan Presidential elections. Get your act together, folks. We are dealing with another African disaster, another crooky President who is even beating Kibaki when it comes to cheating.

Anonymous said...

My last comment got an error notice so here it is again:

BBC America did a story on Zimbabwean prostitutes across the border. They included:

- a former police woman.
- a former bank official.
- a former owner of a hair salon.
- a former military woman.

For them it is starve or sell yourself. One woman's children don't even know what margarine is - they just see it on T.V. and live on porridge and water.

I do sympathise with my Zimbabwean brothers and sisters. They need change.

Anonymous said...

True; Zimbabwe has MEGA land problems.

Unfortunately, calls for land reforms do not accompany calls for Mugabe's political demise.

Anonymous said...

It is amazing that the young bright leaders or those that show "promise" meet their demise at young ages, whilst we are left with the Kibakis, Mugabes et al that live and "let live"..damn what a bummer.

Anonymous said...

I understand why people continue to leave this blog. It is a blog where ignorance is not only exhibited by the readers but also by the owners of the blog. An inflation "past 100,000% and still 'heating up'? Do you know what 100,000 means, that is, with the five zeroes? You should have scrutinized that figure you came across before publishing the post. 10,000 would do for me.

Chicity said...

This will be a tough one. BBC America had some coverage on this over the weekend. It is alleged that Mugabe has already printed millions of ballots. It also suggested that the defiant reactions of many more Zimbabweans than in years past has left him a little rattled. The report also showed others dancing, singing songs praising him. So, what will it take? Those dancers clearly haven't heard about the 7000% inflation or whatever the figure is today (??!!). It will be a miracle or close to it if he loses and accepts defeat. May be he's team will orchestrate a mad scramble Kenyan-style top-up session. A Zimbabwean activist on the show actually stated that this time he hopes Zimbabweans will follow Kenya's example and protest any attempt at stealing the election.

Anonymous said...

Anon @10:03 AM it is you who is suffering from ignorance! The inflation in Zimbabwe is 100,000%, I repeat 100,000% NOT your imaginary 10,000%!

Read the facts below:

Anonymous said...

Anon at 10:03 AM, You need to counter-check your sources, it's actually 100,000

Anonymous said...

Zimbabwe: IMF Estimates Inflation At 150 000 Percent

Zimbabwe Independent (Harare)
18 January 2008
Posted to the web 18 January 2008
Shakeman Mugari

AN International Monetary Fund (IMF) document says Zimbabwe's inflation for January has galloped to about 150 000% as the economy continues to crumble.

This is the same rate reached by Germany during the Weimar Republic in the 1920s in the post-First World War era.

The document which contains the figures has not yet been officially released but was distributed to government and RBZ officials who attended an IMF seminar as part of a lecture package.

The seminar which was held mid-December was conducted by the IMF team which visited Zimbabwe in December to educate key government and RBZ officials about hyperinflation.

The document said by November 2007 Zimbabwe's inflation had reached 85 000% which is almost the same level that the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) reached in November 1993 (91 253%).

The IMF said Zimbabwe's inflation had reached 115 000% by December last year. Zimbabwe is the only country that has reached such alarming inflation levels since the mid 1990s. The government has refused to release inflation figures for the past eight months, ostensibly to hold down the prices of basic commodities. That plan is collapsing as businesses now use their own inflation figures to raise prices.

The result has been a huge surge in prices forcing government to implement price controls which have however failed.

The last known inflation figure, which was leaked to the media by officials at the Central Statistics Office in October, was 14 800%.

Before that government had blocked the release of the figures for more than four months.

The document said even the previous inflation figures released by government were not a true reflection of the situation on the ground. The correct inflation is that which is measured using the black market rates.

"The parallel market exchange rate -- measured by the black market rate and notional rate -- better gauges the declining purchasing power in Zimbabwe."

The document blamed the inflation rise on the government's over reliance on money printing to fund its operations.

"Money creation has been the main source of financing quasi-fiscal activities, which form the bulk of public sector spending," the document said.

The document added: "In an economy where money creation is the main source of deficit financing, the overall public sector deficit (central government, public enterprises, quasi-fiscal etc) becomes a principal determinant of money growth and hence inflation."

It said the foreign currency rate mismatch was also at the root cause of the spiralling inflation.

"Depreciation (of local currency) reduces government revenue, leads to increased implicit subsidies in the presence of multiple currency practices.

"In a hyperinflationary environment movements in the exchange rate become a primary determinant of inflation."

The document said the introduction of a new currency does not help reduce inflation unless it is accompanied by broad based stabilisation reforms.

"Price controls increase inflation instability." The document warns that inflation is likely to continue galloping unless the government institutes comprehensive policy measures.

The document said only 13 countries have experienced hyperinflation since 1950.

Average duration of hyperinflation is 17 months, the longest is 59 month which was experienced by Nicaragua, the document said.

Analysts said the recent decision by the central bank to go on a money printing spree to ease the cash crisis would worsen the inflation problem.

The central bank will today launch higher denominations of bearers' cheques -- $1 million, $5 million and $10 million -- to help solve the cash crisis.

Analysts however said while the move would solve the cash problem for now it was going to have serious consequences in the long-term.

kalamari said...

It's a good day for Africa when the Zimbabwean people can see light at the end of the tunnel....even if the source of that light is an intense fire and brimstone (as the case was in Kenya).
But Ritch, why the Hitler moustache on Mugabe? Granted the man has pretty much destroyed the country, however, hasn't he also made every person in Zimbabwe a multimillionaire? Last I checked, the common watchman was making about 35,000,000.00 Zimbabwean dollars......a week.

@anon 10.03. An inflation rate of 100,000% is just as good as that of 10,000%. It's like saying Kibaki stole by 100 votes or that he stole by 1,000,000 votes. The man is still a thief.

Anonymous said...

Mugabe has 'grown' this mustache - it is natural and not painted as you assumed here. News are that his competitors have already been denied fair elections - one was denied to place advertisements although having paid for them - the other was denied to land with his helicopter to attend some meetings..... you see, Mugabe is even beating Kibaki and most surprising, there is no Kofi Annan or Bush intervening. Does this not confirm what many said: Kenya is more 'valuable' for the Americans because of having the base there for their Irak-war, whereas Zimbabwe is land-locked and therefore of no value. Does this not remind you of the fate of Rwanda and other African countries?

Open your eyes - that's how the world's media sees Africa - to use Jeff Koinange's slogan: this is a god-forsaken continent we are looking at.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 12.35, Kumbe they have helicopters there. I wonder how many trillions it takes to rent one.

chris said...

Anonymous at 10:03 you said:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I understand why people continue to leave this blog. It is a blog where ignorance is not only exhibited by the readers but also by the owners of the blog. An inflation "past 100,000% and still 'heating up'? Do you know what 100,000 means, that is, with the five zeroes? You should have scrutinized that figure you came across before publishing the post. 10,000 would do for me.

It is not only amazing when people put their self-righteous ignorance in writing here but I also get surprised when some readers seem to be better informed about the traffic of Kumekucha than me and even Alexa (the site that monitors traffic in all sites on the net).

For your information Kumekucha traffic continues to grow steeply. Please if you are leaving the site, speak for yourself.


P.S. Several readers have confirmed that Zimbabwe inflation is above 100 000% Shocking but accurate

Anonymous said...

sorry to "digress" back to our issues at home,

read a comment that i think is interesting,

Annan should come and implement the two balanced cabinet proposals as follows

in the first year effective immediately, use the PNU proposal but give the ministries suggested as PNU to be given to ODM and vice versa

in the second year implement the ODM proposal with ODM posts given to PNU and vice versa.

coalition is only for two years

Anonymous said...

Kumekucha - continue being a Kenyan blog - that's what we expect you from you. Don't try to reach out to the rest of Africa as much as it it challenging you to do so. But until the Election Nighmare in Kenya is not solved, don't even try to ride on our attention which you gained because we regarded you as one of us. Don't dissapoint us the same as our esteemed leaders have done right now. Because if you do, you will loose much more than they do - something you will never be able to recover as much as you might try in the future - but you will have lost a chance, the only one you might ever gain for the rest of your life - and besides that, the admiration and love of many. So think twice.

Wanjiku Unlimited said...

Yeah Anon inflation in Zimbabwe is indeed 100,000%. Na bado. 84 year old Mugabe, president since the country’s independence, has every intention of winning the polls again. More than 9 million paper ballots have been printed for about 6 million registered voters. There’s a lot of intimation with the police being sent to every polling station to question potential voters. No independent foreign observers will be allowed. The army chief has promised to stage a coup in case of a Mugabe loss and the commissioner of police speaks of live ammunition for anyone protesting the poll results Kenya style.

Anonymous said...

wanjiku if wat u say is true then surely (shoe-ah-ree )

bads (lets not insult birds) of father, shoe-ah-ree frolic together.

Anonymous said...

The only hope for Zimbabwe is...They go the kenyan way, funzo let no one sit pretty again on a stolen election. The terrorists ...Yeah i repeat the terrorists of Africa should start packing....Gaddafi, Museveni, the egyptian goon and yes the kenyan mafia....thay have nothing to offer to this continent.....They are a disgrace to these beautiful continent no wonder Africa is a mess.....Or better idea i beleive Guatanamo bay is still having some vacant cubicles for their like


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