Monday, July 9, 2007

Wage & Price Controls Put Zimbabwe on the Brink of Ruin

Over 1,300 business owners and shopkeepers have been arrested in Zimbabwe's misguided "carckdown" on firms accused of "flouting the government imposed price controls, police said Monday. The dimwitted autocrat, Robert Mugabe, taking a page out of fellow socialists Josef Stalin and Adolph Hitler has instituted Wage & Price controls across Zimbabwe.

About a month ago, Zimbabwe's Industry Minister, Obert Mpofu ordered all businesses to halve the prices for all goods and services in a bid to curb spiraling inflation, BUT the edict has been largely ignored.

Zimbabwe's inflation rate was surreptitiously reported in a newspaper at 3,714% in April, but it's now believed to be well over 5,000%!

Among those taken into custody were executives from some of the largest firms operating in Zimbabwe, including a local franchise owner of the chain restaurant Nando's and the Spar Supermarket company.

"We will continue to arrest anyone who will defy the government imposed controlson basic food commodities," said Oliver Mandipaka, a Chief Superintendant and Zimbabwean police spokesman, adding, "We will not stop until there is order in the business community."

Many manufacturers claim that government set prices mean they cannot cover their own costs and have stopped production, leading to widespread shortages of basics such as cooking oil and salt.

Robert Mugabe, unable to stem the rise of what is the world's highest inflation rate, has warned that his government will seize and nationalize firms found to be "profiteering." Some owners have threatened to burn their facilities first.

Economists worldwide, have warned that price controls will only lead to furhter empty shelves, but the move has won support, especially in rural areas. demonstrating convincingly why political democracy can never be allowed to override property rights, or "economic Liberty."

For his part, Mugabe has portrayed critics of his pricing controls as nothing more than puppets of former Colonial Britain, who are determined to topple his regime.


mal said...

Why is anybody surprised?

A country which once was the envy of the continent for its flourishing econpmy and its abundance of resources has been ruined by home rule.

As was the case with South Africa, the African tribal societal woes which have plagued the continent for far too long have brought a formerly great nation to its knees.

Must be our fault, of course.

Let's send money...oops! Did that. didn't work!

Paging Cecil Rhodes!

JMK said...

Sad, but true Mal.

Zimbabwe once fed much of Africa, now it can't even feed its own people.

Wage & Price Controls have ALWAYS and EVERYWHERE resulted in further and deepening economic dislocation.

Mugabe's taken that a step further - jailing the businessmen. After this, it's hard to imagine this country having anything left to "bail out."

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