A Vigil emissary just returned from a clandestine visit home reports finding a fantasy world in Zimbabwe where the government pretends that all is well while sending agents to scour the streets to buy up the remaining dollars.
It’s not so much Back to the Future as Forward to the Past, with inflation expert Professor Steve Hanke of John Hopkins University in the United States saying Zimbabwe is again experiencing hyperinflation, returning to the dark days which culminated in the economic collapse of 2008
In a report published this week he estimates the current rate of inflation at 348%. The market price for a real US dollar is 70% more than the government’s bond notes (see: http://sites.krieger.jhu.edu/iae/files/2017/10/Zimbabwe%E2%80%99s-Hyperinflates-Again-Hanke-Bostrom-Cover-Page-Paper.pdf).
Professor Hanke said: ‘Zimbabwe, welcome back to the record books! You have once again entered the inglorious world of hyperinflation. It is a world of economic chaos, wrenching poverty and death.
Our activist found a feeling of hopelessness wherever he went – in Harare, Bulawayo, Masvingo . . . ‘You look everywhere; you don’t see any hope’, he said. ‘People have lost faith in democracy under Zanu PF. Eighty percent say the elections won’t change anything. They focus on bread and butter issues, feeding the family.’
He continued: ‘The election is a non-event. There is a perception that opposition leaders are involved in business deals with Zanu PF and, anyway, people who do not support Zanu PF face all sorts of hurdles in registering to vote while Zanu PF has already registered its own people.’
‘The international community is happy. They have a good excuse for doing nothing. One foreign official told me that, for a conflict situation, Zimbabwe was peaceful, exuding normality. We like it here.’
Our emissary said those hoping for change must rely on a Eureka moment. The Vigil thinks this may well come with a total collapse of the economy.
No problem there.
- Comments on the Vigil’s 15th anniversary this month: Ben Freeth: You are all heroes! What an amazing record of tireless activity in speaking truth to power. Peter Tatchell: Congratulations! 15 years. What an astonishing achievement. Tony Reeler: You guys are exceptional. Wilf and Trish Mbanga of the Zimbabwean: Congratulations to you all! We salute your endurance and commitment.
- For Sky News coverage of last week at the Vigil check: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kowV_LivfOA.
- Thanks to those who arrived early to help set up: Mavis Chisvo, Jonathan Kariwo, Ndodana Maphosa, Roseline Mukucha, Alfredy Mukuvare, Eunice Mupandawana, Tonderai Musanhu, Shepherd Nyamandi, Tsitsi Nyirongo, Cecilliah Phiri, Elleriah Saili, Pearl Shambare and Knowledge Sibanda. Thanks to Roseline, Pearl, Mavis and Josephine for looking after the front table, to Patricia Nyamunda and Bianca Monica Mpawaenda for handing out flyers and selling wristbands and to Jonathan, Alfredy, Shepherd, Tonderai, Knowledge and Ndodana for putting up the banners.
For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website. The facebook page for our sister organisation Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) (https://www.facebook.com/ROHR-Zimbabwe-Restoration-of-Human-Rights-301811392835) has been hijacked by destructive elements from a group calling itself ZHRO.Please be advised that any postings on this page are not posted by ROHR.
FOR THE RECORD: 37 signed the register.