EMULATING the duplicity and deception of its masters, the state-controlled media repeatedly claims that the price escalations which afflict Zimbabwe are naught but a diabolical conspiracy between the countryâ€™s perceived enemies and Zimbabweâ€™s business community.
That conspiracy is alleged to be driven by intent to alienate the support of the populace from the ruling party, in order that that populace will cause a regime change to occur. In stridently voicing these claims of a Machiavellian conspiracy to use hyperinflation as a vehicle for regime change, the media recurrently quotes President Robert Mugabe.
This occurred yet again last week, after the president addressed a passout parade of police recruits.
The president told the recruits that spiralling inflation, shortages of basic commodities, constant power cuts, high transport costs and intermittent disruptions of water supplies were all part of a well-calculated and orchestrated regime change agenda by Britain and its allies.
In particular, he said that the wave of price increases that has hit Zimbabwe followed the announcement of the presidential election run-off date as June 27, evidencing that some sectors of the business community were conspiring against the ruling Zanu PF party and the government.
Immediately following upon these presidential comments, the newspapers controlled by the Minister of Information and Publicity trumpeted loudly that the regime-change conspiracy was the cause of the surging upwards of prices. In diverse editorials and articles the business community was vigorously berated for engaging in the conspiracy and thereby oppressing the poverty-stricken Zimbabwean.
It is, therefore, very significant to note that:
lIn March 2008 the cover price of the national dailies of the state-controlled newspapers was $20 million, and that was increased to $80 million in April, 2008, and to $200 million in May, 2008, representing a ten-fold price increase in less than two months. Clearly, therefore, although those newspapers are state-controlled, their publisher must be actively engaged in the regime change conspiracy!
lThe City of Harare, which is still not managed by a democratically elected council but by government appointees, in the last three weeks increased Parkade fees from $1,5 million per hour to $60 million per hour. Founded thereon, it must be that those government appointees are actively engaged in the regime-change conspiracy!
lAir Zimbabwe, which is a government parastatal, has increased its fares more than three-fold in the last three months, and more than trebled them in the last month. That parastatal must, therefore, be an active regime change conspirator!
lTelOne and NetOne have increased charges more than five-fold in the last three months. Thus, even though they are, as parastatals, governmental controlled, they must be involved supporters of regime-change conspiracy!
lThe Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) is the governmental revenue collecting authority. Following upon the establishment of the interbank foreign exchange market, Zimra now applies interbank exchange rates in determining dutiable values, currently yielding about 14 000% higher import duties and value added tax. Hence, Zimra must be an active conspirator for regime change!
lVirtually without exception, all other parastatals, and all service ministries have similarly increased charges very markedly over the last two to three months and inevitably, therefore, must be conspirators for regime change, if there is any substance whatsoever to the conspiracy claims of the state-controlled media.
It is long overdue for government, its vituperative propaganda machine, and its media, to overcome their extreme paranoia, and to cease resorting endlessly to fictional and mystical claims of conspiracy. So spurious are those claims that not even the most naÃ¯ve are any longer succumbing to them.
The Zimbabwean people are no longer so gullible as to believe that Britain wishes to recolonise the emaciated Zimbabwe, or that it is convincing the business community to achieve an overthrow of the Zimbabwean government, be it through the ballot box or otherwise.
And it is as ridiculous to believe that in order to achieve that objective, the business community is willing to pursue a suicidal path of self-destruction, by pricing itself out of existence.
Instead, it is time for government, and its media, to recognise the realities which have caused the cataclonic inflation that is a major contributant to the destruction of Zimbabwe, and to take the constructive actions necessary to restore Zimbabwean wellbeing.
Although government and its sycophantic propagandists would undoubtedly deny it, real inflation must by now be in excess of 700 000% per annum, and is increasingly rising. That is due, primarily, to the devastating insufficiency of foreign exchange, with a consequential virile black market, thriving upon immense premiums, which transform into massive commodity price increases.
The lack of foreign exchange is almost wholly due to governmentâ€™s destruction of agriculture, its untenable polices which deter foreign investment and international balance of payments support, lack of economic productivity and governmentâ€™s own rapacious hunger for foreign exchange.
Hyperinflation is also a consequence of governmentâ€™s endless profligacy, funded by appallingly excessive printing of money, unsupported by requisite securities and resources, and to pronounced, wide-ranging corruption in both public and private sectors, uncontained by government. Moreover, hyperinflation spurs further inflation, and will continue to do so until the underlying causes of the hyperinflation are effectively addressed.
Until government initiates substantive corrective measures, instead of blaming others, hyperinflation will endure and intensify, and in the same manner as parastatals will have no alternative but to raise their prices or charges, if they are to survive, so too will the private sector need to do so. That is not conspiracy for regime change, but necessity for attempted survival.