Mugabe Deals Death-Blow To Zimbabwe Economic Recovery Hopes
Showing his age: The Solution, Robert Mugabe, struggles up the steps at Gideon Gono's farm with King Mswati of Swaziland earlier this month. The dictator has now come out smash all the toys his and Tsvangirai's Inclusive Government was playing with. It really is a crisis
There goes the neighbourhood.
Yesterday, Robert "The Solution" Mugabe dealt a massive, irreparable blow to any prospects of economic recovery and investment in Zimbabwe.
Speaking to his party's National Consultative Assembly, Mugabe said he was dead set against the dollarisation of the economy and that he is going to change it. His exact words were "Tiri kuongorora kuzvichinja todzokera kumari yedu." Which means, "We are looking at changing all that and going back to using our own currency."
Good God! What has got into the man, this Prime Minister's "Solution"?
Anyone who was thinking about investing in Zimbabwe will now back off sharpish. This is guaranteed. Dollarisation is the only thing that had given people hope.
It is also the sole achievement the Prime Minister pointed to in his crusade to convince the world that things had changed for the better in Zimbabwe.
It is because of dollarisation that the shops are full, medicines can be bought at pharmacies again, prices are stabilising and, until this last month, even going down.
We know who holds real power in government. It is Mugabe. The cantankerous Old Man is about to blow this country back to the Stone Age.
It is imperative for the Prime Minister to stop this nonsense.
But tact will make the difference.
At all cost, the Prime Minister must avoid a confrontational approach, because that will only press Mugabe's "assert your supremacy" button.
Instead, the PM should use his Monday meetings with Mugabe to push for reason. He should talk to Mugabe like one talks to a mad hostage-taker with a loaded machine-gun.
But I fear the Prime Minister's reaction will be that of also trying to "call the shorts", posturing to his support base. Which will only get Mugabe's back up and the Prime Minister does not have the armies to back up his word, whereas Mugabe does.
So he would only be defeated again if he turns this into a fight.
Still, it is important to realise what this is really all about:
The Prime Minister and his Finance Minister have been too successful at hoodwinking the world into thinking that it was they who introduced dollarisation.
Even the Wall Street Journal yesterday regurgitated the lie.
So, like the brat who destroys the best sandcastle at the beach because he can not make a better one, Mugabe is now petulantly trying to destroy that dollarisation policy in order to pull the rug from under the MDC-T feet.
During the same speech yesterday, Mugabe also said he will sit down with Morgan Tsvangirai when he comes back and tell him, "So, sir...you see what your friends are like?" (referring to the refusal to lift sanctions by the West.
He complained that he only got US$100 as a salary saying he had been paid that little before. And he asked pointlessly if this was supposed to be an "Inclusive Government of hunger".
And, oh yes, he also took a swipe at the Amnesty International Secretary General who was in Harare this last week, saying it looked as if she had been "bewitched" and was "too quarrelsome".