The talks broke off yesterday after a tense session at the end of which
Morgan Tsvangirai spelt out in clear terms what he was wanting from the
talks. All parties are now reviewing their positions and they will come back
this afternoon for another session. Mbeki was here originally for two days
has now been here for four and this demonstrates the importance he gives to
these talks and their consequence for Zimbabwe, South Africa and the region.
This morning my staff told me that the Rand was now trading at Z$90 billion
to 1 on the street. Yesterday it was Z$75 billion, a week ago it was Z$25
billion. In my business the average inflation in June was 2,5 million
percent - in July it soared to 32 million on average for the month. The news
that it might have topped 42 million does not surprise me. How much longer
can this go on and why this sudden surge in inflation and the collapse of
the currency - we have never seen such conditions.
The State certainly cannot cope with these conditions - they cannot pay
their staff and the armed forces. They cannot protect their assets. As this
rate the new currency will be worthless in two weeks. Then what do they do?
There is now only one solution to the crisis and that is to do a deal and
get international help to sort out the economy. To do that Mugabe and his
cronies have to accept that they are no longer in control - power has passed
to a new generation of leaders. They can negotiate the best deal for
themselves thereafter - but the basics have to be acknowledged and accepted.
If they do not accept this and are not obliged to do so by regional pressure
then the consequences for all of us - including those in the regime today,
will be dire.
Bulawayo, 12th August 2008