You’ve got to hand it to African
dictators leaders; their creativity when it comes to ensuring they remain in office is quite uncanny.
This one however, much as it may sound like a bad joke or something Uncle Bob would say to remain behind the Rhodesian reins, is actually fact. Zimbabwe is entirely too broke to have elections. So they won’t.
It would cost them half a billion dollars to effectively orchestrate national elections, but as it stands, the country is already over $150 million in the red for this year alone. Which is funny considering we’re only in April. So on the surface it looks like a lost cause from the jump.
However, if we should decide to dig a bit deeper, we may remember a few months ago, Uncle Bob blew close to half a million bucks on his birthday party. Around the same time, the Chinese offered a US$3 billion cash injection, along with the job opportunities created in order to control the country’s Platinum mines. A much needed monetary offering, however it is clearly a bit of a lowball offer. The Platinum in those mines is worth quite a bit more than 3 billion. The problem is that it’s not getting out of those mines fast enough, nor is it being exported at fair rates. The problems is not that Shop Zimbabwe is closed, it’s that nobody will buy from the shopkeeper.
I’m vaguely certain that Bob can fund the elections out of his own pocket. Every year hundreds of millions of dollars worth of diamonds disappear in Zimbabwe; Rumor dictates that the bulk of that goes back to Bob’s home.
I wonder what’s on his mind right now. He can’t be seen to fund the election out of his own backpocket for conflict of interest and sheer selfishness. However, he wants the elections because the coalition goverment is failing miserably(i.e. asking him to share power) and he would like to put an end to it.
Speaking of people who both support and don’t support coalition governments, our Prime Minister is down in Harare fistbumping Bob now. For as much as we call Kalonzo a two-faced watermelon, sometimes we should take an unbiased look at the beloved son of Odinga.
In 2008, he blatantly called for Mugabe’s resignation and criticized him on British TV. Bob wasn’t happy about this. He pouted and said ‘Don’t let that nasty man inside my country.’ and then went to cry in his silk robes over his gold boudoir. Raila must’ve sent him love letters aplenty. ‘Dear Bob, I’m sorry for how I acted that day; my mind was scattered and confused but you know I’ve always loved you…r policies.’ Bob read the letters and finally decided to lift the Odinga ban. And so Amolo put 3 years of catfighting to the side and skipped to Harare. Or at least that’s how I imagine it happened.
Point is, Raila is making a courtesy visit there and this has left journalists – really everyone – quite confused. But not Bob. Bob seems somehow comfortable, in spite of his supposed election dilemma. He’s busy making friendly with Ahmedinijad and plundering national natural resources.
The politics and current state of Zimbabwe are getting increasingly difficult to follow, nay comprehend. The economy is even less intelligible. One minute, they’re rejoicing because their mining sector has grown 27% in 3 months, the next they are too broke to host elections and somehow in the red again; this in the span of 2-3 days.
They say a country doesn’t elect the leader they want, just the leader they deserve. What then would one say of a country that no longer has the power to elect?
I’d say it can only be Zimbabwe.