Greed Rules, OK?

This is the Monomotapa Hotel in Central Harare. Hoteliers in Zimbabwe have just shot themselves in the foot, but this is only an indication of a deeper problem: the fact that Zimbabwe business people do not have confidence in the new government and are looking to make a quick buck while there is still hope

So, you have probably heard by now that Zimbabwe lost a massive contract to host World Cup guests because our hotels decided to charge anything up to US$3000 per night for the service.

The booking company took their business elsewhere and have now signed contracts with hotels in Botswana.

But, the reason I am mentioning it is that, today, one of these hotel managers is quoted by the media as saying the move by the organisers to Botswana is "just a marketing gimmick, Botswana does not have the rooms"!

What arrogance!

So, they will come back anyway, because Botswana does not have the rooms?

The man who is quoted also says the reason why the high rates were quoted was because, "they met with our junior people". He says marketing managers are meeting in Harare today to revise the rates and that will bring the organisers back.

Quite apart from the obvious question, which is: why would the hotel managers leave such things to their "junior people", there is also the fact that this demonstrates that Zimbabwean mentality, the get-rich-quick mentality, is still with us.

I wrote previously in this blog about these hoteliers and other service providers and I remember that at the time, I told you that charges in Zimbabwe are still affected by the mentality of hyperinflation.

In Zimbabwe today, no business feels alright unless they bring up their charges every few days.

Right now, I can bet you my bottom dollar that the next inflation figures will, if they are not cooked by this Exclusive Government of Tsvangirai and Mugabe, show that inflation is on the rise again.

For some reason, over the last week or so, prices that had been going down have started going up again. A specific product I know of which cost 80 US cents two ago is now selling for US$1.50.

There is no reason for this at all.

What it is going to do is turn the people against this government, against Mugabe and against Tsvangirai. With civil servants still earning only US$100 per month, the rise in prices now will ensure that they starve.

But the priorities of this government are all wrong. Focused on fighting for power and space at the feeding trough, they are neglecting the fundamentals that will make Zimbabwe work again.

You will recall that Gideon Gono said last year that Zimbabwe was losing US$1.2 billion a month through the leakage of diamonds from Chiadzwa.

But now, the state is in charge at the diamond fields and we are still not able to raise even a paltry US$500 million. We celebrate when the EU sends us US$11 million (not enough even for a month's wage bill for civil servants).

More importantly, all this shows that the people of Zimbabwe, including business people, have no confidence in this Inclusive/Exclusive creature.

You see, they expect this thing to fall flat on its face and for Zimbabwe to back to the dark ages before dollarisation. Hence, everyone is trying to make as much money a they can while the sun still shines.

Business confidence is crucial for the recovery of Zimbabwe, for without it, no one is going to invest new money into expanding capacity and hence creating new jobs in the economy.

Tsvangirai and Mugabe see nothing wrong, insisting that everything is fine and the world should just give us more money!!

Yet, their own people, the business people, are in panic mode and trying to make as much as they can while they still can!!

As I keep saying, there is no recovery here. Power is still being cut like there is no tomorrow, people still have no water in their taps and money is too tight to mention.

No wonder Tsvangirai and Mugabe do not want to have elections before 5 years are up.



  1. Good blog do you have. Friends care to exchange links?

  2. I've been reading your blog for a couple of weeks now. Wow. Really sounds tough in Zimbabwe now.
    That's why I know that in the U.S., even though our economy is still slow, that we are still in good shape compared with so many other places. No power, water or gas shortages. Plenty of food in all of the stores. It's always worse somewhere else. Good luck!


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