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More good news (I hope)

July 22nd, 2008

This peace deal in Zimbabwe seems like good news, though it’s hard to be sure. I hope it is a way to bring the miserable Mugabe regime to an end without any further loss of life and general suffering. At the risk of contradicting views I expressed regarding the Sudan case, I’d welcome a deal where Mugabe lived out his remaining days in retirement, and his party handed over power to the democratically elected MDC.

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  1. July 23rd, 2008 at 08:54 | #1

    Oh dear me, Prof Q!

    You cannot say one thing about Sudan and another about Mozambique. It might make people’s heads explode. Same with Iraq and Kosovo, as we saw in the previous thread. Same with Bush and Clinton, Keating and Howard, etc etc…

    If you don’t heart pre-emptive oil grabs then you must luv Saddam, we all know that. Pull yourself together, man.

  2. wilful
    July 23rd, 2008 at 09:47 | #2

    I bet the military stage an official coup, get rid of this sham democracy. Mugabe gets sidelined, Tsvangirai shot/exiled/imprisoned.

  3. smiths
    July 23rd, 2008 at 09:50 | #3

    that sounds a bit like the moral hazard in the banking industry prQ

    kill a few people, go to jail for life,

    kill a lot of people and terrorise a nation,
    finish your days in retirement while eeveryone agrees that things are better because youve gone

  4. smiths
    July 23rd, 2008 at 09:51 | #4

    i doubt it wilful,

    Tsvangirai is the man that the us and britain clearly wanted in the role, at least initially

    if the military did that think it would be a fatal error for them

  5. James Haughton
    July 23rd, 2008 at 10:42 | #5

    This agreement between Mugabe and Tsangerai reminds me of the co-prime-ministership between Hun Sen and Norodom Ranariddh in Cambodia. Like that one, I think it will end badly. Tsangerai will be used by Mugabe as cover to restore Zimbabwe’s economic links to the world, then purged when no longer useful. IMHO.

  6. melanie
    July 23rd, 2008 at 11:54 | #6

    James, You cannot possibly think that Ranariddh had anything more in mind than self-promotion (If dad won’t let me be king, I’ll be Prime Minister.) The problem in Cambodia was that it never had a decent opposition. Zimbabwe does have one.

  7. pablo
    July 23rd, 2008 at 17:42 | #7

    I’ve always been a bit intrigued by how ordinary folk cope with Zimbabwe’s inflation. If as we hear it costs about 10 million $Zimbabwe for a loaf of bread, necessitating carrying wads of notes with you… ordinary people – and not all of them have moved across the SA border – must cope with an alternative economy, black market, backyard gardens? I’d love to know. Also what any new reform government will do to re-establish a ‘market economy’.

  8. Ian Gould
    July 23rd, 2008 at 20:50 | #8

    Smiths, what’s better let Mugabe retire or kill thousands overthrowing him by force?

    These sort of decisosn are incredibly difficult and ultimately should be left to the people of the countries involved.

    The ANC in South Africa had to allow De Klerk and the other NP leaders to go free in order to acheive a peaceful transition.

    The decision as to whether soemthign similar should happen in Zimbabwe is, as I said, ultimately up to the Zimbbweans.

  9. melanie
    July 23rd, 2008 at 21:54 | #9

    I cannot comprehend 2,000,000% inflation. Even 100 billion notes would be useless in a week. I suspect people of plucking the number out of the air.

  10. Ian Gould
    July 23rd, 2008 at 22:19 | #10

    Melanie – there are plenty of historical exampels of inflation rates that high or higher.

    The government has virtually no revenue because of the collapse of the economy. They print meaningless pieces of paper which they foist of public servants as wages and what few businesses survive as payment for goods and services. They create some demand for the scrip by forcing the few people still working in the formal private sector to pay taxes and other charges in it.

    Most peopel have either gone back to subsistence farming, work in the black economy where they’re paid in Rand or other foreign currencies or rely on remittances from family members in south Africa.

  11. BilB
    July 24th, 2008 at 06:14 | #11

    Mugabe is clearly a psychopath. I think that Tsangerai will choke again on what Mugabe will try, and pull out fairly quickly. One cannot reason with someone who feels superior in every way and detests every thing that the other is about.

  12. Donald Oats
    July 24th, 2008 at 07:27 | #12

    Regarding #9 (Melanie): I agree that the numbers are probably just wild guesses, now that inflation is so out of control.

    With inflation of a zillion percent per eyeblink, the poor ordinary folk typically switch to a “butter economy.” as a means of coping. That is, they start using a common commodity as currency rather than the dollar. Rich folk of course, had their money foreign currency long before it got to this.

  13. July 24th, 2008 at 19:28 | #13

    On the inflation amount – this means prices are increasing at about 5% (from memory) per day. Compounded over a year it gives the silly numbers you are talking about. People make it work (generally people can make almost anything work) but, as Donald notes, it is the poor that really suffer – the poor and those with savings they cannot move out of cash and into something else.
    Sorry to disagree, PrQ, but Mugabe should be brought to trial and the Ndebele should be able to be witnesses at that trial.

  14. July 24th, 2008 at 19:41 | #14

    To satisfy the maths geek in me – for 2,000,000% interest you need 4.066% interest per day.
    To give you some idea of how sensitive it is, dropping the rate to 4% per day gives you 1,585,000% interest. A drop to 3% means you can drop the inflation to only(?) 47,000%. 5% per day yields a truly staggering 51,630,000% inflation.
    You are right – difficult to comprehend when our inflation is only that per year.

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