They are burning the Kraal!!
Remember the bit about herding Zanu PF into the dip tank holding pens
to dipping? We eventually got them cornered and locked down in
the big day when dipping would take place. Locked in with nowhere to go
through the dip, the cattle are panicked - what to do next? Well now
know - they are burning the kraal down!
'Kraal' is the local name for a holding pen for cattle - even
sheep. It is most often made of poles sunk into the ground and held
by wire. Most Kraals are old - the wood hard and dry, so once a fire
hold it burns hot and for a long time. Often in the villages they will
a stack on a suspended platform over the kraal where the herdsmen will
a reserve supply of fodder for the long dry winter and also for a bit
shade in the hot months. If the fire moves on to this, everything in
kraal will be destroyed and killed.
Mugabe has started a fire that will destroy what remains of the modern
economy and transfer the ashes to Zanu PF control and direction. He has
frozen prices, wages, rents and all other prices for services for six
months. He has proposed legislation that will see all companies being
to take in Zanu PF partners who will then hold a controlling stake in
firms. He has directed that the firms themselves, through a compulsory
pay for this process and there is no question of compensation in any
hard currency and whatever comes out for existing shareholders will be
At present exchange rates in the parallel market and present inflation
(which will slow but not by much as all the fundamentals are so
the freeze will simply stop all economic activity in its tracks.
virtually all industrial firms supplying the local market have halted
production or slowed it down to low levels to try and curb the losses.
of thousands of workers have lost their jobs and the rate of layoffs is
accelerating. Just this past week I heard of a local businessman who
he paid off staff who had worked for his family firm for 45 years.
No foreign firm can possibly accept the demand for 51 per cent control
their assets here. The great majority of firms have sufficient funds to
remain operational for a matter of weeks now after two months of
They cannot resist - the threat of imprisonment is real and
his latest decree (and since when have we been governed by decree?) Mr.
Mugabe has threatened business leaders with imprisonment for six months
they violate the freeze. Very few - if any, will take the risk and
resort to the Courts is probably a waste of time and money and will
invite retribution in some other form.
So where does this leave us? Well to put it as simply as possible, if
someone does not send in the fire brigade, we are doomed. I now
upgrade my previous assessment about the tidal wave of human flight to
neighbouring countries to an imminent Tsunami of major proportions that
do substantial damage to all who are affected.
Our economic and social structures simply cannot take any more of these
nutty initiatives and a complete collapse of our economy is now
Of equal concern are the impact of the freeze and the critical
all basic needs for human life on the security forces and the civil
It is likely that very shortly we will also be unable to maintain any
of administration and basic security of assets and person.
The implications of this situation are so serious that I am astonished
the International Crisis Groups view that our situation is
must be looking in another direction when they study what is happening
Bulawayo, 2nd September 2007