Friday, March 28, 2008

The Zimbabwe Situation: Is There Hope?

The Zimbabwe Situation, as it is being dubbed by some, is a combination of mass inflation and human rights and property rights violations. I think most people would agree that long-time leader Robert Mugabe is responsible for the present state of the country, and it's economy.

For those unfamiliar with the Zimbabwe Situation or Robert Mugabe, there is a website dedicated solely to providing information on the subjects: zimbabwesituation.com. I also wrote a blog post last month that talked about the inflation problems in Zimbabwe.

According to recent press covering the Zimbabwe Situation, there appears to be some hope for the upcoming elections. For years, the opposition party has been suppressed and elections have been rigged. Mugabe would punish any supporters of the opposition by cutting off their food supplies, among other things. Many people are not even registered to vote out of sheer hopelessness, and the last few elections in Zimbabwe have been—more or less—a waste of time.

This election seems to be different; there is a growing sense of hope among Zimbabweans. Both the opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, and a rival leader from Mugabe’s own Zanu-PF party are running. Though Mugabe has employed some of his traditional election tricks, this election has been relatively peaceful, according to an article from BBC News.

Zimbabwe was one of the brightest stars in Africa prior to Mugabe’s destruction of the economy. The country is rich with natural resources, and it has much to offer both tourists and businesses, but investors will shy away until Mugabe is out of power. If Zimbabwe can elect a good leader who welcomes a free market, things could turn around for Zimbabwe. I’m not holding my breath, but hopefully someday soon we will see an end to the infamous Zimbabwe Situation.

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