Fiddling While Zimbabwe Burns
"While the politicians fiddle around as the flames that engulf Zimbabwe grow in intensity, the glaring reality of Zimbabwe's economic collapse is there for all to see. The economic gains and expanding social services of the 1980s have been thrown into reverse. According to Zimbabwean economist John Robertson, the economy has shrunk by over 19% over the past year, and the gulf widens daily between the official exchange rate (Zim $860 to US $1*) and the parallel market (Zim $5,800 to US $1*). The effect of these factors together with the acceleration of company closures, and the worsening of countrywide fuel shortages clearly indicate that Zimbabwe's economy is now in “a shambolic state from which recovery will be arduous if not impossible. Inflation is high enough (about 450%) to have no real meaning. The Reserve Bank cannot keep up with the volume of cash as a result of price hikes. Bread sells for more than Zim $1000 a loaf, and beef and maize for Zim $3000 and Zim $300 a kilo respectively. When available, fuel sells on the black-market for Zim $1200 to Zim $1500 a litre.” "