Friday, August 7, 2009

Zimbabwe: Still Impoverished by the IMF World Bank

US urges reforms in Zimbabwe

The US secretary of state has said that South Africa must push its neighbour Zimbabwe to undertake political, social and economic reforms, during a visit to Pretoria.

"South Africa is very aware of the challenges posed by the political crisis in Zimbabwe because South Africa has three million refugees from Zimbabwe," Hillary Clinton said on Friday after talks with Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, South Africa's foreign minister.

"Every one of those refugees represents a failure of the Zimbabwean government to care for its own people and a burden that South Africa has to bear," Clinton said.

An adviser to Jacob Zuma, the South African president, told Al Jazeera that Zuma was keen to see reforms implemented in Zimbabwe.

"[Zuma] is very prepared to engage as far as he can in order to resolve the problems and the challenges that are faced by the Zimbabwean people, because every negative thing that happens in Zimbabwe has a direct impact on South Africa," Lindiwe Zulu said.

"He would like to speed up the process as quickly as possible," she said, adding that Zuma would soon travel to Zimbabwe to hold talks with members of the government in Harare.

Changes sought

The US government is looking for Zimbabwe to pick up the pace of political reform so that donor countries have sufficient incentive to release aid to Harare.

Washington has maintained sanctions against Robert Mugabe, the Zimbabwean president and his closest aides.

The US government has said that the lifting of sanctions is contingent on reforms being implemented by Mugabe's Zanu-PF party and the government it shares with Morgan Tsvangirai, a former opposition leader who is now the country's prime minister.

But Mugabe, who has been president of Zimbabwe since 1980, has said that Western sanctions and interference have caused the economic crisis in his country.

Clinton’s appeal on Friday comes amid efforts by the US government to build better relations with South Africa, which came under strain when the Bush administration was in power.

"I know that the [South African foreign] minister and I are interested in making sure that our two countries not only lead but demonstrate the kind of co-operation that results in positive results for the people of the world," she said.

Clinton later went to HIV/Aids treatment centre in Cullinan, east of Pretoria, where she held talks with Pakishe Aaron, South Africa’s health minister.

"We have to make up for some lost time, but we are looking forward," Clinton said, in reference to what Washington called delays by the former South African government in addressing the health crisis. - Al Jazera

My Solution to Zimbabwe

I think the international community should setup a relief fund in south Africa. Since the South African president "Jacob Zuma, is very prepared to engage as far as he can" I'm sure he wouldn't mind a fund setup in his country. But instead of a fund being setup just for handing out food, it should be for basic needs first yes, but also for training the Zimbabweans for farming, engineering, city planning, city administration, mining and industry. This fund needs to prepare them with the necessary capability to return to their country and run it autonomously. Supposedly this is what the peace corps was set in place for, but I doubt they would go to such lengths. Usually the peace corps is comprised of 22 year old hippie kids, fresh out of college, with the propensity to not bathe.

Mugabe took his country by surprise when he ousted the white settlers, which I see nothing wrong with, but instead of preparing his country for rulership, he was taken control of by the IMF World Bank

The IMF and World Bank have been empowered by the governments which control it (led by the U.S., the U.K., Japan, Germany, France, Canada, and Italy -- the "Group of 7," which holds over 40% of the votes on their boards) with imposing economic austerity policies in the countries of the so-called "Third World" or "global South." Once Southern countries build up large external debts, as most have, they cannot get credit or cash anywhere else and are forced to go to these international institutions and accept whatever conditions are demanded of them. None of the countries has emerged from their debt problems; indeed most countries now have much higher levels of debt than when they first accepted IMF/World Bank "assistance."

While most would demonize Robert Mugabe, once I heard he was dealing with the IMF, I knew the man didn't have a chance. Without even looking at the history, I'm sure they have him over a barrel, the likes of which he can't recover from. If Zimbabwe were smart [it's just an expression mind you, I have heard they were the most educated population once] they would offer terms of exile for Mugabe and his party, with all of the wealth he could take with him, with the condition that he never return and that the IMF seek their retribution from him, and not Zimbabwe.

If you want to see a rich country taken into abject poverty, go look up the story of Venezuela. A lot of people cannot get over the racial factor of Zimbabwe. I know that is myopic of them, that's why I present the case of Venezuela. If it could happen to white people, it can happen to anyone. Anyone who deals with greedy corporate banking is in a world of hurt. The European countries obviously are not the great humanitarians they portray themselves to be. This is the oldest trick in the book. It's simply the modern colonialism.

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