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Zimbabwe’s Mugabe Proclaims Himself Africa’s Goldman Sachs

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Zero Hedge
Feb 22, 2013

Since we first started discussing the new frontier of investment (or economic hitmen), Africa has been appearing more and more in the headlines – from labor conditions in the South to military action in the North. Natural resources and leverageable assets remain key as the infamous Zimbabwean ‘dictator’ Robert Mugabe, fighting for re-election at the age of 89, maintains that Zimbabwe’s difficulties stem from a Western plot to re-colonize it. With more than 80% of the country unemployed but rampant inflation somewhat calmed, Reuters notes that Mugabe believes “It’s God’s choice” that he is running in this close election. Just like Goldman Sachs “doing God’s work”, Mugabe believes “this is a task the Lord might have wanted me to fulfill among my people…,” regarding the liberation struggle for black economic empowerment. More than 4,000 out of an original 4,500 white-owned farms have been seized since 2000 under a program he says is aimed at correcting land ownership imbalances created by colonialism. The consensus is that a free and fair election will create a true democratic outcome, but as one local noted “with his record I just don’t see how Mugabe can win a free and fair election.” Indeed, though the jackals remain.

How the Economic Hitmen work…an oldie but a goodie…

Via Reuters,

Robert Mugabe said he had a “divine task” to lead Zimbabwe, shrugging off concerns about his health and fitness for office as he prepares for what could be one the closest election battles since he came to power in 1980.

Few Zimbabweans are ruling out victory for the 89-year-old Mugabe even though his country, once an African success story, is in a decade-long economic slump worsened by Western sanctions and more than four fifths of the population is unemployed.

Rampant inflation has calmed, the mining sector is buoyant and agriculture is picking up after turmoil caused by the seizure of farms from their white owners under Mugabe’s policy of black empowerment.

Mugabe, Africa’s oldest president, maintains that Zimbabwe’s difficulties stem from a Western plot to re-colonize it, a view that strikes a chord with his supporters, who see the sanctions as punishment for a justified campaign to wrest their country’s wealth from the hands of foreign corporations and the white minority.

“Why is it that all my friends are gone and my relatives are gone and I continue to linger on? Then I say to myself, well, it’s not my choice, it’s God’s choice,” Mugabe said at the party late on Wednesday, which was attended by state media.

This is a task the Lord might have wanted me to fulfill among my people…,” he said. “I read it as a bidding of God… The bidding says you move forward ever.”

Mugabe says he wants to continue the liberation struggle and consolidate black economic empowerment.

More than 4,000 out of an original 4,500 white-owned farms have been seized since 2000 under a program he says is aimed at correcting land ownership imbalances created by colonialism.

“I hear a lot of people talking about a tight race, but with his record I just don’t see how Mugabe can win a free and fair election,” said 28-year-old Charles Simukai, who was selling fruit on the streets of the capital Harare.

“The general consensus is that you need a free and fair election for a real democratic outcome … but there is no consensus that Zimbabwe will get that,” said Eldred Masunungure, a political science professor at the University of Zimbabwe.

But ZANU-PF appears to have accepted that Mugabe has maneuvered himself into a position where he ends up president for life, a position that opponents say he wants as security against possible prosecution for rights abuses.

“What we have … is a president celebrating his 89th birthday while planning on how he can continue in power after so many years in office. That is not normal,” said professor Masunungure.

This article was posted: Friday, February 22, 2013 at 6:44 am





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