Just when will Britain aid Zimbabwe?

BBC News – Zimbabwe launches $200,000 note

“Zimbabwe is to start circulating a new 200,000 Zimbabwe dollar note, in a bid to tackle the country’s inflation, the highest in the world.”

A 200,000 dollar note? It is incredible how far the state of Zimbabwe has declined. They were once one of the richest countries in Africa and when the British left had the potential to become one of the richest countries in the world. Now they are the poorest. Their inflation is spiralling out of control and is reminiscent of 1920s Germany or Yugoslavia in the 1990s where a 500 billion dinar note was produced.

500 Billion Dinar note

Zimbabweans now have it far worse than they ever did in colonial times, abject poverty and starvation thanks to Mugabe’s land reform, there just isn’t enough food to go around. By kicking the white land owners and their black workers off their lands, and replacing them with Mugabe cronies with absolutely no knowledge of farming, Mugabe has made his people go hungry. He blamed the country’s problems on the white minority and is now paying for that foolishness, or at least the average Zimbabwean is. In 1990 the life expectancy for a Zimbabwean man was 60 years, just 17 years later it has dropped by 23 years to just 37. Life expectancy for women in Zimbabwe is even less, just 34 years. Incidentally, Robert Mugabe is 83 and pretty sprightly for his age, clearly living well.

Not only has Mugabe plunged his country into starvation and poverty, he has also killed thousands of his own people. As yet Britain has done very little to help it’s former colony other than imposing sanctions, in fact it could be argued that by ending the ‘willing buyer, willing seller’ land reform programme in 1997 (that admittedly Mugabe was just milking for his own benefit), Britain has caused some of the problems in Zimbabwe. I am sure that Tony Blair had his reasons for doing it but by just cutting off the Zimbabweans and labelling it an SEP he has helped create the mess that Zimbabwe is now in.

If the USA can invade a country to remove a tyrant purely on humanitarian grounds, why can’t Britain do the same in Zimbabwe? It would certainly be simpler for the British and of more immediate benefit to Zimbabweans than Iraq or Afghanistan, and as a former British colony Zimbabwe already has the required educational, judicial and parliamentary institutions in place; no ‘nation building’ would be required. Zimbabwe also has the highest adult literacy rate in Africa, the same rate as China ( at 90%), compared with 74% in Iraq and just 28% in Afghanistan.

Of course there isn’t any oil in Zimbabwe and certainly no WMD’s (not that there was in Iraq either), so no motivation to intervene.

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