[Marxism] Zimbabwe- the Ruthless Privatisation of All that Exists
lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Jul 17 17:13:12 MDT 2008
>In other words, the Ruthless Privatisation of All that Exists.
Yes, it does appear that the MDC wants to move Zimbabwe in the same
direction as South Africa. As I have said from the beginning, there
is not much to choose from between the MDC and ZANU-PF programs. One
is neo-liberalizing and the other is a kind of patriarchal patronage
system that gives "anti-imperialism" a bad name. There might be some
tactical advantages in pushing for an MDC electoral victory in that
it would probably put an end to the broken teeth debating style that
comrade Mugabe has perfected. Economically, there's not much to
choose from. With Mugabe, you get his cronies running the big, export
farms so that the British middle class can continue to get pet food
on the cheap. With the MDC, you get white power in the countryside
but freedom for the unions to organize. Of course, with propagandists
like Stephen Gowans on the loose, you'd get the impression that
Mugabe is the second coming of Mao Zedong.
In Hungry Zimbabwe, Pet Food as a Priority
Exports Stressed Despite Shortages For Basic Needs
By Craig Timberg
Washington Post Foreign Service
Monday, March 3, 2008; A13
NORTON, Zimbabwe -- Meals come only once a day for Helen Goremusandu,
67, and the six children she is raising. With prices for the most
basic food products increasingly beyond her reach, that daily meal
often consists of nothing more than boiled pumpkin leaves, washed
down with water.
About a mile away, a Zimbabwean government grain mill is churning out
a new product: Doggy's Delight. Announced by its creators in January,
the high-protein pet food is aimed at the lucrative export market,
one of the dwindling sources of foreign exchange in a collapsing economy.
The shift away from making food for humans -- or for pigs, chickens
and other animals that humans might eat -- is just one of the more
striking distortions in an economy ravaged by government price
controls, hyperinflation and a severe food crisis. The World Food
Program estimates that 4.1 million Zimbabweans, about one-third of
the population, will need food aid this year.
Goremusandu is struggling to raise five grandchildren and one
great-grandchild on her monthly salary of 1.8 million Zimbabwean
dollars for part-time cleaning work -- worth about 30 cents in U.S.
currency at black-market rates. The finely ground cornmeal used in
sadza, the boiled white mush that is the nation's staple food, costs
12 million Zimbabwean dollars for an 11-pound bag.
"People are hungry," said Goremusandu, a widow with deep-set eyes and
large, calloused hands. "They should not be prioritizing making dog
food when people are hungry."
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