Out of Food
From The London Times-
The OK supermarket in Mbare township is so empty that your voice echoes off the high warehouse roof.The situation in Zimbabwe is a disgrace. Is there anything the world can do to save the people of that country?
On row after row of white shelving, wiped clean each day, sit a dozen cabbages. The bakery has ten plain scones. That is all the food there is in the largest supermarket serving tens of thousands of people in the oldest, and teeming, township in Harare.
One night last week, Rosa, a church volunteer, scoured Mbare for supplies to make the daily ration of maizemeal, the national staple, and some green vegetables, to be cooked without vegetable oil and often without salt. She found two loaves of bread.
“How do I feed the 14 people in my house with two loaves of bread?” Rosa asked. “Sometimes there is nothing and you go to bed with no dinner. We are living like orphans.”
Her neighbour’s breast milk for her one-year-old daughter dried up recently, she said. “She couldn’t find fresh milk or sterilised milk anywhere. So she feeds the child on Mazoe.” It is a brand of orange cordial.
It is now ten weeks since President Mugabe forced businesses to slash prices of all goods and services in the belief that he could crush inflation, which he says is a plot by the Zimbabwean private sector, in collusion with Western governments, to overthrow him.
Two things have happened: inflation has rocketed and, according to the Government, the country will run out of wheat in three days. Zimbabweans appear set to face an almost total absence of food and ordinary household goods. An eruption of public anger, to be met with violent suppression by Mr Mugabe’s security forces, is likely to follow, observers say.
Initially Mr Mugabe’s June 25 price blitz sparked a gleeful storming of shops, where managers looked on aghast as their businesses were stripped at the Government’s bidding.
A military action to topple Mugabe? Some would compare it to Iraq, when did Zimbabwe threaten anyone but its own people. Mugabe, who is 83 years old, is unlikely to step down voluntarily. Leaders of all stripes, don't like to relinquish power. It is like a narcotic, once hooked, the politician sees life without it as hopeless or not worth it.
Could Mugabe be bribed to go into retirement? A villa and bank account in Switzerland and amnesty for all crimes? As repugnant as doing a deal with this devil would be, I'd do it to save the people of Zimbabwe. Forgive one despicable man to save thousands or millions I think would be worth it.
Bottom line- I don't see conditions in Zimbabwe improving till Mugabe leaves office. That isn't likely to happen before his death.
Hat tip- Betsy
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