Economic crisi sparks gas rationing in Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia), civil unrest feared : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

From today's Electronic Telegraph:

Petrol rationing fuels Zimbabwe's anger By David Blair in Harare

ZIMBABWE'S spiralling economic crisis was yesterday threatening to spill into social unrest following the start of petrol rationing and the prospect of power cuts this week amid record inflation and mass unemployment.

For the first time since 1982, petrol stations are rationing petrol. Most will sell a maximum of #5 worth, or 15 litres, some only #3 worth. Diesel fuel has been almost unobtainable in recent days. Industry is considering temporary closure, even a three-day week. Eddie Cross, the vice president of the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries, said: "We are getting about one third of our normal requirement of diesel. The situation is precarious. Bread production is under threat. The cracks are showing."

If the supply of essentials breaks down and public transport continues to seize up, Mr Cross fears for the country's stability. He said: "There is a strong possibility of social unrest." Daily life involves queuing for hours at petrol stations, keeping track of the incessant rumours about supplies and scanning a complicated table in the official press that shows when your electricity is likely to be cut off.

The crisis has dramatically lengthened the working day for most Zimbabweans, forced to endure endless queues for buses that often fail to appear. Many say that today's hardships are worse than those of the Sixties and Seventies, when Britain imposed economic sanctions on Ian Smith's white regime. Conrad Chibanda, who owns a garage, had driven to a service station beside the Ministry of Transport and Energy after hearing rumours of diesel supplies arriving there. Another 57 drivers were already queuing in the blazing sun, the line of vehicles snaking along one of Harare's main roads. Mr Chibanda said: "I cannot do any business because I have to wait here. This is the government's fault."

A desperate shortage of hard currency to buy imports has caused the crisis. The International Monetary Fund, which President Robert Mugabe has described as "a monstrous creature", has ended all support because of his failure to meet a series of economic targets. Zimbabwe's intervention in the Congo civil war, costing at least #700,000 per day, is draining the national coffers. Lack of confidence in Mr Mugabe, 75, has led foreign banks to downgrade his government's credit rating.

-- Old Git (, January 30, 2000


Haven't heard much good news out of Africa lately.

Apparently things are getting extrememly ugly in the Congo; another Rwandan massacre in the making, so they say. The news people won't broadcast the footage because it's too gruesome.

It's a mystery to me why anyone remains there if they're capable of leaving.

-- things are (rough@all.over), January 30, 2000.

---funny, isn't it, in spite of UN sanctions, old rhodesia was a fairly well off economy, an exporter and quite able to feed itself and it's neighbors, and had better racial harmony than it does now as zimbabwe, led by a fascist dictator, who's army is trained by the north koreans. Their "economy" is another example of wonderful centralized communist theories. Same thing will eventually happen to south africa, and then the entire continent will be the same, every country dismal. It has nothing to do with race, it has everything to do with centralization and corruption, disguised as "peoples socialism". Unchecked, it will eventually effect european socialized countries as well. Then the US. Wonder why the big shots want it that way? An agenda maybe? One world with 1% masters and 99% slaves, maybe? Sure, maybe a lot of slaves "allowed" to have some measures of comfort and technology, but slaves nonetheless.

-- zog (, January 30, 2000.

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