Zimbabwe Is Pretty Much Screwedby Doug Mataconis
My co-bloggers and I have written several posts about the chaos that the dictatorship of Robert Mugabe has brought upon the African nation of Zimbabwe. Today, though, the London Telegraph reports that things have gotten so bad that the nation is four months away from complete chaos:
The economy of Zimbabwe is facing total collapse within four months, leaving the country facing a slide into Congo-style anarchy, The Sunday Telegraph has been told.
Western officials fear the business, farming and financial sectors may be crippled by Christmas, triggering a collapse of government control that could leave the country prey to warlords and ignite long-suppressed tribal tensions.
Speaking anonymously because of the sensitivity of the subject, one Western official said: “It is hard to be definitive, but probably within months, by the end of the year, we will see the formal economy cease to work.”
He added: “One of the great dangers in all this, if Mugabe hangs on for much longer, is that the country will slip from authoritarianism to anarchy, the government will lose control of the provinces, it will lose control of the towns and you will have a situation where the central authority’s writ no longer holds.”
Asked which other African nation Zimbabwe might end up resembling under a worst-case scenario, the official cited as an example the Democratic Republic of Congo (the former Zaire), beset for years by famine, civil war and inter-ethnic conflict.
Now, tell me, is there anyone with even a fundamental understanding of economics who could not have predicted that this is exactly what would have been the effect of Mugabe’s socialist claptrap ?