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Save Zimbabwe!

  1. Dec 5, 2007 #1
    Zimbabwe is a beautiful country in southern africa and its main neighbour is South Africa. This small country used be the bread basket of Southern Africa due to a vibrant agricultural system and sound economic policies.However since the "land crisis" of 2001 the situation has gone berzerk with infaltion now an unbeliavable 15000% and 1USdollar = 1,5million Zim Dollar, unemployment around 70-80%!

    I thought I would share this information with others in this forum.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 5, 2007 #2

    Ivan Seeking

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    That is terrible to hear! Can you explain what precisely has happened - what is the "land crisis"?

    The internet is a great way to get the message out.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2007
  4. Dec 5, 2007 #3
    Zimbabwe formely Rhodesia was a British colony under "minority rule" until 1980 when Robert Mugabe became president after 7 yrs of fighting. When he came to power,he kept the "colonial system of governance in place for a while" which helped the country in a sence. It is believed that the war was caused by the land imbalance between white Rhodesians at that time and the landless black people among other reasons.

    However, when Mugabe became president he did not fulfill his promises to the landless people and instead helped himself and others around him to a lavish lifestlye, private helicopters,state of art vehicles from some of the world's most expensive auto makers,posh mansions etc ect...

    The "war vets" and the landless became angry each year until they decided to grab land as a last resort, things happened very quickly at this point and because it is African tradition that leaders tend to hang on to power under the most daring conditions, Mugabe is still in power at age 84 since 1980! under sanctions from the US, EU, Australia, NZ, UK and many others but still hanging on!
  5. Dec 6, 2007 #4


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    Mugabe has also sent his soldiers to fight in the Congo, a military expense his country could not afford.

    Like all dictators he relies on paying his army and cronies to support him, at the people's expense of course.

    It might also be relevant that although the people are now starving he has amassed a private fortune.

  6. Dec 6, 2007 #5
    Mugabe will attempt to hang onto power to prevent his being taken to the Hague to be tried for crimes against humanity. During the period of his early presidency, he engineered the genocide of the tribe (Matabele) of his political rival - Joshua Nkomo. Some 800,000 to 1 million people were murdered in the process. Mugabe is an ethnic Shona.

    Mugabe is a megalomaniac who rules with brutality & total disregard for human life, or rights.

    The fact that his friend & ally, South Africa's president Mbeki, continues to support Mugabe, has extended his reign of terror.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2007
  7. Dec 21, 2007 #6
    Today, the central bank of Zimbabwe unveiled new curreny notes as high as 750,000 dollars. Obviously hyperinflation is Zimbabwe's biggest issue. This is the same kind of issue that hit Germany in the 1930's. This leads to a shortage of goods in the short run and war in the long run.

    Mugabe's land policies scared off investors and caused a lack of capital flow into the country. Investors went elsewhere, Zimbabwe's currency devalued and Mugabe has refused to do anything since.
  8. Dec 21, 2007 #7


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    The day Mugabe is gone will be a BIG day for the world. It's quite shocking that the AU keeps bowing to this madman.

    If not for the World Food Program, there'd be millions of people dying in Zimbabwe as a direct result of Mugabe's control over farmland and food distribution.


    The high occurance of HIV/AIDS in the area compounds the problem. Currently, about 1 in 3 children are orphaned by AIDS deaths, and these children become prime targets for recruitment into the National Army.


    I am also quite surprised to read Ivan's post. I imagine if he is not aware of the crisis in Zimbabwe, neither are most Americans. It's probably that Mugabe doesn't get labeled a dictator, and so appears much less harmful than a Saddam Hussein or a Kim Jong Il.
  9. Dec 21, 2007 #8

    Math Is Hard

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    I'm completely ignorant of the situation in Zimbabwe. :redface: I'm glad that zimbob made this thread.
  10. Dec 21, 2007 #9


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  11. Dec 22, 2007 #10
    They stopped measuring inflation a while ago..
  12. Dec 22, 2007 #11


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    Zimbabwe - from bread basket to basket case, unfortunately.

    zimbob how do think the rest of the world can save Zimbabwe?

    How can we help?

  13. Dec 23, 2007 #12


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    Regime change is a common option.

    It would probably work much better than in Iraq or Afghanistan. For one thing, the Shona make up a clear majority and there wouldn't be nearly as much ethnic tension. The majority of the population is either Christian or some mixture of Christian/native religion. English is already the official language (although it's the native language of only about 2.5% of the population.)

    With an 80% unemployment rate, you could probably get the buy-in of several US companies to build plants in Zimbabwe that could compete with imports coming from less favorable parts of the world.
  14. Dec 23, 2007 #13
    Well, i was browsing through my newspapers about a couple of weeks back, and then this reporter for the travel section in the newspaper was actually encouraging its readers to look for black market currency exchange where the exchange rate is like 50 times than it should be while on holiday in Zimbabwe. I thought this was actually unbelievable and may be one of the reasons for the crazy exchange rate mentioned by the OP.
  15. Dec 23, 2007 #14


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    We further call for the U.N. system to refrain from interfering in matters that are clearly the domain of member states and are not a threat to international peace and security. Development at country level should continue to be country-led, and not subject to the whims of powerful donor states.
  16. Dec 24, 2007 #15


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    That would be a pretty natural response of a leader that's despised by most of the industrial world. That attitude doesn't stop Zimbabwe from chairing the Commission on Sustainable Economic Development (CSD). (Fury at Zimbabwe UN roll) Of course, most of the Western UN countries were up in arms about that, too.

    My first post was pretty cynical. I don't think you could find much of a stomach, internationally, for another regime change. We're still cleaning up from Bosnia, Kosovo-Serbia, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Still, Mugabe's departure would be a positive development in Zimbabwe.
  17. Jan 6, 2008 #16


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    Zim never was a 'breadbasket'

    I have to correct Zimbob on his comment that Zimbabwe used to be the so-called 'breadbasket' of Africa.
    Prior to 1981 Rhodesia was locked in conflict with it's neighbours over its racist system. No African country traded with the Rhodesian regime and indeed they never once supplied Africa with 'bread'.
    What they did supply however, was a large cheap tobacco crop to western companies. There was enough maize production to supply the black population in Zimbabwe, and the Rhodesian's & South African's would never supply food to their enemies.
    What I do remember of Rhodesia is the smell of aviation fuel after two canberra's flew low over refugee camps outside Lusaka in 1979. Napalm has the same smell, can't forget it, mingled with pork, appetising but nauseating.
  18. Jan 9, 2008 #17
    Coming from an American - Mugabe is a bad guy but an important thing to understand about the dynamics of this and the international reaction to it is that Mugabe was a revolutionary hero in the fight that freed Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) from apartheid. The reason why Zimbabwe has been more successful economically than other states in Africa is because while under international sanctions for apartheid Rhodesia (along with South Africa) had to develop much more robust domestic industry than other former colonies in Africa did; unlike other countries they couldn't as easily buy things like refined oil, steel, and manufactured goods from overseas so they had to make it at home. Unfortunately under Mugabe's reign many of the gains that were made during the 20th century have been lost and a large percentage of the industrially skilled white Zimbabweans have been driven out of the country.

    It will be a good thing when Mugabe is gone but unfortunately many of the advantages Zimbabwe held probably won't be regained. The best thing may be to try to increase commerce and exchange with South Africa, a more successfully post-apartheid country.
  19. Jan 11, 2008 #18
    Zimbabwe Burning

    I am glad that so many of you have had time to read about Zimbabwe.

    The situation is getting worse everyday, with most parts of the country's urban towns going for weeks if not months without running water and electricity in their homes.The shortage of water is largely due to lack of chemicals, broken pipes, electrical blackouts etc.

    There is also a serious shortage of local currency even though the highest denomination is now Z$750 000 (about USD$190). This black market exchange rate is now pretty much the official rate!. People had to queue at Banks for hours on Christmas day to get money to buy the little food they could afford for their loved ones!. This is the first time in history that banks were opened on Christmas day in that country!.

    I don't think that its possible to have democratic elections in Zimbabwe or other means of regime change as long as Mugabe is still around. The US has done enough elsewhere and if only China and South Africa could stop supporting this murderous regime then things will change until then only time will tell.
  20. Mar 27, 2008 #19


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    In January, Zimbabwean banks started printing 10-million dollar bills.


    Today, that will just about buy you a loaf of bread in Harare.


    If not for an unchecked black market, there would be civil war in Zimbabwe. And unless the AU acts on it, it's just a matter of time...
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2008
  21. Mar 27, 2008 #20
    The 1920's. There have been many cases of hyperinflation in the 20th and 21st centuries, but very few of them led to war. In some cases, war led to hyperinflation. This site lists them.

    Wiki hyperinflation
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