Mugabe is playing with people’s lives


President Robert Mugabe is playing with people’s lives on a large scale because though he told delegates at the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front annual conference in Victoria Falls last month that the country had enough food to last 10 months, millers say the food will not go beyond February.

“The reality is that South Africa will have to import over 80 per cent of its maize needs in the next 15 months. In Zimbabwe I doubt if we will reap a harvest of 300 000 tonnes – 16 per cent of our needs,” Movement for Democratic Change legislator Eddie Cross wrote on his blog.

“The reality of this situation is that if our authorities do not respond immediately with an emergency import programme, we are likely to run out of our basic food staple.”

Cross said Mugabe was not likely to survive the internal pressures this time.

“I personally cannot wait; we have struggled in the main opposition Party, the MDC, to unseat the government through non violent and democratic means but have not only been denied any significant external assistance in this struggle but faced the active opposition of many African States, including South Africa.

“Now the forces of change will take control again, as they did in 1980. The only difference being that this time there will be no Lancaster House, or a former colonial power to supervise the transfer of power and ensure stability.”

He said Mugabe was behaving like former Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith who refused to listen to advice from business executives that he could not continue to resist the wishes of the majority.

“Today we are at the end of the post colonial era, the Mugabe era and our economy is in a shambles. This is despite the provision of billions of dollars in aid, some $7 billion alone in the past 8 years, despite being able to borrow funds at concessional rates from just about everyone and building up in the process a national external debt of $9 billion and domestic debt which could be as high as $7 or $8 billion. ……

“Today it is not external pressure or actions that will bring to an end the Mugabe era, it is this amalgam of internal issues that will force change and believe me, it is coming.

“The disintegration of the Party that has controlled Zimbabwe for the past 35 years is almost complete. What is left of the organisation that once so dominated our lives is no more. The shell is there and the leadership still makes decisions, but like Hitler in his bunker in Berlin in 1945, their orders are futile…

“At the ZANU-PF conference at the Victoria Falls in December, Mr. Mugabe announced that we had 10 months maize in stocks and that no one would go hungry. In January the food industry announced that they have only enough stocks to carry us through February and that after that we have to start importing from South Africa. We are used to such incompetence from our leadership, but this is playing with people’s lives on a large scale.”


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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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