What you gonna do Zimbabwe?

March 1, 2007

What you gonna do Zimbabwe
What you gonna do Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe is a man who tried
to teach his children what was right
but then there came a time when war
split the family from inside
he said no fighting no more
what you gonna do Zimbabwe
what you gonna do Zimbabwe
the old man sits and shakes his head
while the multitudes insist
where is the cause of unity
with just one thought there could be peace
men gathered in silence the same
can there be some peace on Earth
can there be a love
greater than the world we see
greater than us all
it’s the last station home
it’s the last station home
you ran your heart in those days
when no-one could see days
you want to run in the wind
you want to go back inside
see no more crime in your lifetime
Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe
no more crime in your lifetime
Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe

– Toni Childs, Zimbabwe

I’ve had this song playing in my head all this week, ever since I saw Robert Mugabe prancing around celebrating his 83rd birthday at the weekend . The celebration reportedly cost millions of dollars, whilst millions of Zimbabweans struggle to even feed themselves and their children each day. Mugabe celebrated his birthday by slapping a three month ban on all political rallies. In early February, Zimbabwe’s inflation was up at 1600% and the IMF is predicting official inflation to be at 4000% for this year. So what does Mugabe do? He sacks the Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa who warned him recently not to flood the country with newly printed money that would just make inflation worse.

Mugabe’s brutal regime has run the economy into the ground, suppressed all opposition and ignored all suggestions and pleas for sane policies that will at least attempt to bring the economy back on track and pay the long suffering people of Zimbabwe their wages in order for them to feed themselves. Ah, but how to feed themselves when Mugabe’s policies (or lack thereof) have resulted in food production to drop to one-sixth of what it was in 1999?

Over the past decade, over three million Zimbabweans have crossed the border into South Africa, desparate for work. Is there any hope left in this once shining light of Africa? Perhaps there is and the reason for it is depressing, but it is a reason nonetheless. The economy is so bad that the people of Zimbabwe are starting to stir and are defying the bans on demonstrations in greater numbers everyday. With the combined economically driven desparation of the people and the umpteeth mobilisation of the Movement for Democratic Change behind Morgan Tsvangirai, there are signs that Mugabe’s days could be numbered. The fear of many is that Mugabe will try to hold onto power at any cost. Brutal suppression is a speciality of this man and the corrupt forces he employs to protect his power. As the people of Zimbabwe rise to claim back their country, Mugabe will probably make it as difficult as possible for them to do so and will not shy away from shooting, beating and starving them in the process.

My heart cries out in pain for this great nation. My hope is that Mugabe will be booted out on his arse in peace and Zimbabwe will have the hope that it once possessed returned to it. What you gonna do Zimbabwe?


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