Tuesday, July 03, 2007

More On Zimbabwe

Via Jeffrey Tucker I see this story about hyperinflation in Zimbabwe and the pathetic, hypocritical and futile attempt by Mugabe to fight it by price controls rather than by ending the massive money printing. Needless to say, it led to shortages, despite direct coercive measures from Mugabe thugs:

"Bread and other essentials all but vanished from shops and supermarkets in Harare yesterday after President Mugabe ordered a 50 per cent cut in prices.

Price inspectors and police, sometimes armed, descended on supermarkets in the Zimbabwean capital to enforce price controls. Their intervention followed the order issued by Mr Mugabe last week in an attempt to get to grips with rampant inflation.

The result was chaos. Bags of sugar burst open in struggles between shoppers who had streamed into supermarkets. Computerised checkouts jammed, unable to cope with the rapid price changes. There was further confusion when officials forced their way into storerooms and declared stock items to be “illegal hoarding,” and ordered all goods to be moved on to supermarket floors.

At one store where the manager tried to restrict sales to two of each item, one worker was seriously injured in the mayhem. Annual inflation reached 4,500 per cent in May, the result of nearly three decades of economic policies devoid of prudence or forethought.

Economists estimate that the real figure is closer to 10,000 per cent. Prices are more than doubling every month as suppliers and retailers struggle to keep up with the decline of the currency, which at lunchtime yesterday traded at Z$260,000 to £1.

With hard currency earnings now almost negligible, the central bank buys foreign currency at black market prices from finance houses and prints mountains of increasingly worthless currency to pay them.

Mr Mugabe, however, asserts that inflation is the fault of “profiteering” by retailers in league with the British Government to oust him."

But apparently, life in Zimbabwe is not equally bad for all people. Mugabe cronies are able to take advantage of the situation in their own way, as desperate women will sell sex to them. A telling quote from one of them as one would-be customer says there is not enough of her bottom: "What do you expect on one meal a day?"


Post a Comment

<< Home