Tuesday, April 26, 2005

"Things fall apart." -Chinua Achebe

Has anyone else been bugged by the apparent reticence of the Zimbabwean people to stand up for their rights in some sort of protest over the flagrant abuse of power by the government? I have. It's bugged me so much, I'd even started to think that maybe the people of Zimbabwe enjoy the inept leadership of ZANU-PF even in the face of the country's worst crises. Then all of a sudden it hit me quite coincidentaly while I was reading this article from yesterday's The Horrid (a.k.a. The Herald).

The story, which chronicles impending rental increases in Harare, reveals how ZANU-PF's anti-market antics have kept them in power. Mugabe & Co. have placated the anger of the masses by effectively imposing price ceilings on a majority of the basic commodities including in rentals. As the story reports, at today's official exchange rates, there are people that are renting full housesfor a lot less than $1 a month and there's businesses occupying premium space in the city center for under $500! But that's just government controlled properties, rentals in the parallel market a lot closer to reality. Outrageous.

Don't hasten to pitch the, "it's the MDC controlled municipality that is mucking things up," fit just yet. Recall the numerous forays into local government affairs by the state culminating in the introduction and imposition of governors for the "metro provinces" of Harare and Bulawayo. ZANU is fully and undeniably culpable.

But as that prolific writer Chinua Achebe titled his most popular book, "Things Fall Apart." It's all beginning to unravel for ZANU in Zimbabwe. The curtain of reality is fast coming down on their charade as providers and patron saints of the public. See this and this post over at Sokwanele.

All is not well in the state of Zimbabwe.

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