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There is more to Zimbabwe crisis

ERIC Bloch’s article “The real state of the nation” (Independent, April 16) correctly summed up the depressed economic circumstances currently being endured by all except a small minority of chefs and their cronies.

However, the desperate state of the economy is already well known – not least to the unemployed, the homeless and the destitute. But just in case any of us needed reminding, rates of inflation, unemployment levels, declining GDP, collapsing social services, etc have been repeated ad nauseam by economic commentators such as Bloch.

Notably absent from Bloch’s article was any reference to the political, social and humanitarian crises that continue to plague this troubled country. Can one assume by this glaring omission that if there is an economic recovery with no respite from political repression and human rights abuses, Bloch will conclude that all is well in the country?

Perhaps Bloch needs to be reminded that there is more to the Zimbabwean crisis than the demise of the economy – and that those whose focus is narrowly restricted to “the economy” should never forget that the solution to Zimbabwe’s economic problems is fundamentally political (just as their cause is fundamentally political).

As the one commentator wrote last year: “The route out of the economic crisis remains political, and the same as it has been for years. The current incompetents must go.”

That this is a statement of the obvious does not mean it does not need stating – over and over again. It is absolutely vital that this fundamental point is understood by everyone (including Bloch) who wants to see Zimbabwe restored to a state of sanity, not to mention peace, progress, justice and ultimately – prosperity.

Bloch wants to both have his cake and eat it. He condemns the regime yet he is prepared to act in support of it. As happened when most of the white population rallied behind Ian Smith’s declaration of UDI, such behaviour only prolongs and ultimately intensifies, the suffering of the people.

Given the daily propaganda informing us that a great economic recovery is under way, it would perhaps be appropriate for Bloch to give us his views on this remarkable recovery, not least because many of us are struggling to see any evidence of it.

In recent articles Bloch has accused his critics of “shielding behind nom de plumes” adding that they are “presumably being too cowardly to write other than anonymously”.

Here is one critic who does not hide behind a nom de plume – because he is not in the least ashamed of his efforts to oppose the evil that has descended upon Zimbabwe, nor to criticise those who, wittingly or unwittingly, by their actions or inaction, help to preserve and prolong the life of this destructive regime.

RES Cook,


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