Mugabe Goes For Broke. Flat Broke
The Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, Morgan Tsvangirai and his Reserve Bank Governor, Gideon Gono, were threatening banks day before yesterday for not giving people such as these "small scale miners" pictured here millions of US dollars in loans. This as Mugabe and ZANU PF have decided they have nothing to lose and are escalating their Third Chimurenga with fresh farm attacks and invasions of mines. The Prime Minister appears content to let them get away with all this.
Robert "The Solution" Mugabe of Zimbabwe has decided he has nothing left to lose. A deliberate escalation of the "Third Chimurenga" has been now been adopted.
With the failure to get any aid from the Western nations whose diplomats he publicly calls "idiots", Mugabe has reverted back to fighting mode. As he has always said, he considers this a war between himself and the West. Imperialists, he calls them. Tsvangirai, he said, was just a proxy.
Now that the proxy has been converted and is now the Chief Public Relations Officer for Mugabe, The Solution is turning his guns back on the "real enemy".
So, the war resumes.
The result of this is that, in the near future, we are going to see Mugabe move in directions none of us ever thought could even be contemplated. Already, mining companies are being targeted as are two companies on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange.
The problem is that when sudden shifts in policy like this occur, it always ends up as a free-for-all, with personal agendas and vendettas being pursued under the guise of enforcing the new policy imperative.
As I write, and with the FIFA 2010 World Cup around the corner, the Miekles family remains specified, any prospects of investment to woo 2010 tourists for the Miekles, at least, are in limbo.
And the desperation of this flat-broke Inclusive Thingy saw the Governor and the Prime Minister threaten local banks day before yesterday. The banks are sitting on US$600 million, complained the Governor, and yet they will not lend any of it to gold panners (makorokoza). The Prime Minister weighed in (the two attended a function for gold panners together).
They seem to fail to grasp a simple, elementary concept of commerce: you lend to people who are likely to actually pay back the loan and the interest. There are criteria to be met, such as provision of security or surety.
But no, the Inclusive Government, still pursuing discredited ZANU PF policies in Zimbabwe, wants to lead the solid banking institutions of Zimbabwe into the same bankruptcy that they have taken the economy of the country.
The banks are very sensibly ignoring all these noises. They have shareholders to account to, shareholders whom they can not beat up for asking awkward questions, like what the government of Zimbabwe does to its own shareholders: the voters.
So then, even as the Prime Minister promised that the 51% local shareholding requirement proposed for the mining sector will be revised, Mugabe sends his supporters out to do to mines what they did to farms.
Manufacturing companies? Supermarkets? Where will it end? Or will it?
And the Prime Minister?
He will continue to sit there watching the economic arsonists in ZANU PF fuel the raging fires? Will he continue to say Mugabe is the solution, "indispensable and irreplaceable"?
And the farmers who are being murdered still in their homes at the age of 80? "Blown out of proportion", as the PM said?