The art of intimidation

17 06 2008

The ZANU-PF “meeting” I mentioned in the last post was real enough – it was still going on when I went home at 5 in the evening. I was not tempted to stop off and catch up but I did quiz my maid in the morning. It was all the usual fare; we will kill anyone who votes for the opposition and a weapon was brandished for good effect. Why it took five and a half hours to get the message across also speaks volumes. They are lying of course as they cannot know who votes for whom or where they will poll but the effect was there as now most people will not vote at all.

When the farm invasions were on numerous friends and acquaintances got death threats. They were probably bogus but can one afford not to take them seriously? The intimidators last week were dealing with a less sophisticated audience but the principle was the same; keep them guessing and they will err on the side of caution. ┬áThe art lies in just taking it to the line of credibility. I actually don’t think the outcome will be much influenced anyway. There is only one result that I can see – the ruling party has not come this far just to give in quietly and accept a result that they don’t want.

I see it this way:

  1. Mugabe wins outright.
  2. They rig the results to win.
  3. They lose and ignore the results.

1,681,835,527,909.52 – that’s the closing balance on my corporate account yesterday. I have never I think been so wealthy or poor at the same time. As to why they have kept the cents is beyond me; I am now rounding all my invoices UP eight digits LEFT of the decimal and busy modifying my software to cope with real money. Hey, I mean, I actually took in USD25.00 in sales last week!

I hear more and more that people are just offering to pay in real money as the hassle of getting anything with Zimbabwe dollars escalates almost as fast as the inflation. I make a point not to solicit, though if I am stung it probably won’t make a lot of difference (it is still illegal to accept foreign currency as payment). I wait for the customer to offer.