By the time you finish reading this piece, one hundred illegal immigrants will have crossed the border into South Africa and Botswana, two of their colleagues will have been murdered in xenophobic Alexandra, ten men will have been infected with HIV, one Movement for Democratic Change [MDC] activist will have been beaten up, maimed or killed in Uzumba Marambapfungwe, one child will have died of malnutrition in Matebeleland, ten people will have lost their jobs in Harare and ultimately, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe [RBZ] will have pumped one billion worth of valueless bearer cheques into the system.
By Rejoice Ngwenya
At a recent first quarter post-monetary policy statement jointly organised by this author and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation in Harare, Economist Mr. John Robertson revealed that Zimbabwe’s hyper inflation is edging towards the one million percent mark, after RBZ rolled out more than one thousand eight hundred trillion dollar in cash into the money market in three months. Some analysts argue that with the dearth in official development assistance and a deadly combination of productive paralysis, international isolation and satanic human rights record, Zimbabwe has finally assumed a vintage position on the mantle of disgraced nations.
Yet there is sad irony to this twist of fortunes. Development aid analyst African Forum and Network on Debt and Development [AFRODAD] argue that “Despite having received close to US$294 billion in loans between 1970 and 2002, Africa continues to register the slowest growth in per capita income of any continent.” This raises questions on how central banks should react when they have no access to international monetary markets.
If Robert Mugabe has tied a contaminated milestone around his neck and leaped into the deep-end of political extremism by proclaiming that both the International Monetary Fund [IMF] and World Bank [WB] can f*** off, why are his neighbours not jumping to his rescue? The answer lies in the fear of contamination. Poverty and bad governance are contagious diseases that Mugabe is spreading all over the SADC hinterland.
When it comes to development aid, Mugabe’s colleagues in the Southern African Development Community [SADC] would rather remain on the safe side of international law than join him in the sewerage pond. Mozambique, Zambia, Malawi and Botswana have not kicked white butt to gain domestic political mileage. AFRODAD observes that Mozambique hosts a ‘Development Partners Group’, while Malawi has prepared a ‘Development Assistance Strategy’. While in primitive black South Africa, xenophobia explodes against Malawian and Zimbabwean immigrants, white corporate ‘imperialists’ like Ray Ackerman are slithering covertly across the Zambezi River.
Toyota Zimbabwe has banned all agencies in the country from servicing ‘non South African’ models, while South African Universities gulp down genius academics from across the border.
Only one man is responsible for this crisis – Robert Mugabe.