25 03 2007

Rumours abound (situation normal) but I heard a really good one on Friday from a rather dilly customer (she wanted to know if she could grow almonds in Kariba – um no, not many chill units there). Had I been watching CNN? No, I don’t have satellite TV – a reply that usually brings quizzical stares (see satellite poverty – and earlier post). Apparently the end was nigh, there were rumblings from the local military and Bob was importing some supposedly more loyal Angolan military to bolster his confidence.

Like all good rumours there are elements of truth:
1. The military IS restless.
2. There IS general restlessness in the country.
3. There IS lots of talk of the “endgame”, mainly in the international press.

While I have not checked out the CNN website, I have checked out the BBC which does have good Zimbabwe coverage and there was no mention of Angolan troops and I have not heard this one from any other sources. I did also wonder how they would get here. Overland via Zambia? I doubt the Zambians would want to get involved that way. By air (over Zambia) and into Harare? Way too risky – a “reception committee” would be easily set up and not necessarily on the ground!

Apparently there is another general stay away planned for the 2nd and 3rd of April. One of my banker customers sarcastically commented that it was to be “the final push”. Was this the 2nd or 3rd final push, I asked. Oh at least the 3rd, was the reply. We both laughed but it is not really funny. We both know what the result will be. Some small scale rioting might happen and will be crushed by the police. Most businesses will operate behind closed doors, fearful that they could lose “vital” production or be targeted by government intimidators for supporting the action. Little will change although the political temperature will climb a couple of degrees which is not a bad thing.

It does seem that Mugabe’s own government is plotting a revolt (see http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/6490805.stm) but the cynic in me suspects that it is more to do with saving their own skins than the nation’s. South Africa is at last waking up to the damage that it could cause to their World Cup ambitions in 2010 (wow, at last, thanks guys!) and they don’t want the remaining 8m (or thereabouts) piling across the border. We live in hope.



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