Tuesday, November 18, 2003

More on Zimbabwe
COSATU has come out in support of the ZCTU's national day of protest. Since the ANC's official position is to "never condemn" Zimbabwe this has potential for some rather intriguing conflicts of interest. If the Zimbabwean police come down heavily on the protestors will COSATU continue to support them and will the ANC continue to avoid criticising Mugabe.

Changing the subject slightly, I remember after the last major protest, a Zimbawean at Oxford told me that it marked the last time that the police and armed forces would be able to contain the protestors anger. His theory was that, since Zim's fuel reserves had been all but depleted, the security services would not be able to mount a major operation again. There would simply not be enough fuel to power the helicopters, armoured cars, police vans etc needed for a country wide crack down. If that theory is correct then this next protest, if it is large enough, may mark the tipping point. Even if it doesn't, it might be worth it for the various opposition groups to try a series of "rolling mass actions" and test the states capacity to enforce order.

Of course, this may also mark the point at which the Zimbabwe Freedom Movement, who claim to have members in the various branches of the security services, make their entry.

Update: I've just purchased The Economist's 'The Year in 2004' and according to them Zimbabwe was one of only two countries, worldwide, which experienced negative economic growth last year. Mozambique, on the other hand, grew at 8 percent. The Sunday Times's website is reporting that inflation in Zim has increased to 525 percent. A few more signs of the great success of Mugabenomics

And before I forget, I recently discovered the website for New Zimbabwe, a group of journalists dedicated to countering the state owned media in Zim. If you don't already know about them, do have a look, they have some very interesting articles.


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