Zimbabwe: lying when it suits us


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When the Zimbabwe government says the United States dollar and the bond note or electronic money are at par, 1:1, this is a bloody lie. One US dollar fetches $3.50 bond notes.

When the Zimbabwean government says its inflation is 42 percent. This is a lie. Zimbabwe’s inflation surpassed that figure in 2017. Its inflation is now 235.8 percent.

When Zimbabwe increases the price of fuel from $1.38 to $3.31, this is shocking.

Zimbabwe now has the most expensive fuel in the world!

How is that?

Steve Hanke who says Zimbabwe’s inflation was 235.8 percent on 16 January, uses the Old Mutual Implied Rate to calculate inflation.

On 16 January, OMIR was US$1 to $5.0415.

At that rate, Zimbabwe’s fuel was actually less than one US dollar, 65.67 cents to be precise.

The question then is: Is Zimbabwe’s fuel cheap?

Not really because people are earning bond notes and RTGS money.

But what is more important is: Who is telling the Zimbabwe story? And why are they so interested in Zimbabwe, if they are not Zimbabweans? In Shona, there is a saying which goes: “Inyasha dzeyi kupukuta mwana wemvana madzihwa?”

Zimbabweans are ululating while some people are rewriting their history for them. Take the case of former President Robert Mugabe. Did he really preside over 37 years of decay in Zimbabwe?

Yes, he committed some grave mistakes, but despite all his faults, Mugabe did what no other leader has done in the world, to get land back to the people. Sadly some Zimbabweans do not appreciate this, but future generations will revere him for that.

British academic George Monbiot wrote 17 years ago: “There is no doubt that Mugabe is a ruthless man, or that his policies are contributing to the further impoverishment of the Zimbabweans. But to suggest that his land seizures are largely responsible for the nation’s hunger is fanciful. Though the 4 500 white farmers there own two-thirds of the best land, many of them grow not food but tobacco. Seventy per cent of the nation’s maize — its primary staple crop — is grown by black peasant farmers hacking a living from the marginal lands they were left by the whites.

“The seizure of the white farms is both brutal and illegal. But it is merely one small scene in the tragedy now playing all over the world. Every year, some tens of millions of peasant farmers are forced to leave their land, with devastating consequences for food security. For them there are no tear-stained descriptions of a last visit to the graves of their children. If they are mentioned at all, they are dismissed by most of the press as the necessary casualties of development…..

“These are dark-skinned people being expelled by whites, rather than whites being expelled by black people. They are, as such, assuming their rightful place, as invisible obstacles to the rich world’s projects. Mugabe is a monster because he has usurped the natural order.”

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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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