African countries loaning money to African countries? Advisable?

As we all know by now, Zimbabwe has been struggling financially for quite a while now and has had to use many different currencies in order to stabilize the country and help its people survive. Many international countries have helped Zimbabwe financially over the past few years, but not only from the international community, but also South Africa. South Africa has helped Zimbabwe a great deal, which is surprising, but also very encouraging to see. According to fin24, “South Africa has approved more $100m (R905m) in budgetary support to cash-strapped Zimbabwe, helping plug a gap in its finances ahead of elections expected in the second half of the year, Finance Minister Tendai Biti said on Monday (15 April 2013)”.

 

Biti goes on to say that the South African cabinet has made a decision and feels that it is a “positive” one. Yes, it is a very positive call on Zimbabwe’s behalf, but how about South Africa? Not only the effects on the economy of South Africa but also its people? To be honest, South Africa could do with that extra R905million that they ‘loaned’ to Zimbabwe. South Africa is not as stable as it could or should be. The cabinet of South Africa does not need the consent from its people of the country; however, they should take them into consideration. I personally feel that the needs of South Africa’s should come above anyone else. For instance, there are many homeless, starving and sick citizens across South Africa that could easily be cared for with this lump sum of money. The issues of rape and murder could be decreased with money spent on more hidden cameras or more of the police force patrolling.  These are only a few examples that could be improved in South Africa. This decision that the South African cabinet has made may cause many citizens to get upset. They may turn around and say that they want to pay less tax seeing as the country has enough money to support another country.

 

In saying this, I am also very pleased to see that Zimbabwe will be receiving more funds into the country so that they will be able to hold the planned elections in July 2013. Zimbabwe should in fact get as much funds as possible in order to ensure that the elections do run as smoothly as hoped, with many officials overlooking the procedure, and hopefully minimizing the violence and ability to cheat. Zimbabwe should however not agree to the contract of a “loan” if they may not be able to repay the money to the countries that lent them the funds. This will cause great violence and tension, and Zimbabwe may end up in bigger trouble than it already is. The other problem that Zimbabwe also needs to try and resolve is the fact that the amount of money leaving the country for food imports exceeds the amount coming in. the government should rather leave it up to the private farmers to import and export their goods, rather than the government itself and its revenue.

A ‘summary’ of Zimbabwe’s draft constitution

A ‘summary’ of Zimbabwe’s draft constitution

Here is an article from News24 entitled ‘Key points in Zim’s draft constitution’. This is a very relevant news article as the referendum of the constitution is meant to be taking place tomorrow, 16th March 2013. the people of Zimbabwe must be informed as to what they are voting for, as well as the rest of the world to be aware of what is to come.

International Community getting involved?

The most recent news on the agenda in Zimbabwe, which was announced the 9th March 2013, it that the leader of MDC, Morgan Tsvangirai, has pleaded to implement the International Community in order to over look the elections and so that all procedures will hopefully try and run smoothly with minimum or no sign of violence at all. It would be a great pleasure and a massive change for the citizens of Zimbabwe to participate in smooth running elections for one, as “ this is Zimbabwe’s most important election since 1980”. Hopefully by allowing the International Community to over look everything, these elections will really be “free, fair and transparent”.

One would think that the MDC has done this in their favour, as they know the power and strength that Mugabe is capable of. You could say that a ‘leopard never changes its spots’ to clarify this point, and you can not blame the MDC party for being worried that the voting of the referendum as well as elections could go sour, as they have done so in the past. If Tsvangirai and his party had to win, and there was an outcry from Mugabe’s side, the MDC will have enough support to lean back on and prove that the elections were fair.

The constitution has also been an expensive and long process, which does not need to be altered by little implications and let it go to waste, which is what the International Community can prevent. The call that Tsvangirai has made here is an extremely clever and vigilant one, showing true leadership skills, which hopefully he can carry through if the elections go his way.

Due to many of the foolish mistakes that Mugabe has made in the past, which led Zimbabwe into an economic or financial crisis, this problem has crept up on us again. As mentioned above, the cost of the referendum and the election that is taking place in July is outrageous, which means that the country will struggle, stated by the Minister of Finance, Tendai Biti. These mind blowing figures are as follows: US$85 million for the referendum and the elections costing a further US$40 million.  This ultimately means that Zimbabwe is going to also have to ask the United Nations, without hesitance, to assist them through this important time, which may ultimately end Mugabe’s 33 years of power. Biti said that it is vital that Zimbabwe get financial help from the International Community.

This referendum of the new constitution does indeed need to take place this coming weekend, on the 16th March so that the elections in July can happen. It is extremely important and crucial that all runs smoothly with sufficient funds because Zim still has the potential to improve dramatically – definitely in the long run.

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Tension continues to escalate a week away

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It is extremely pleasing to see that there is still daily news about the happenings in Zimbabwe, leading up to the referendum of the constitution. Not only one newspaper shows concern and interest, but many. It is however extremely sad to see that this fight is still carrying on and that many citizens are still struggling to find peace and comfort in their own homeland. It is going to be a tough few months ahead for the people of Zimbabwe, with the rivalry between the two parties, Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and Zanu-PF. SAPA reports that the Secretary-general of the MDC party and Minister of Finance Tendai Biti insists that all Zimbabweans that are working in South Africa should come home in order to vote for the new constitution that has been seen as “a miracle” and it is one of the “finest” like South Africa’s.

Biti reiterates the downfall that Zimbabwe was in 2008 when Mugabe won the elections through unfair play and voting strategies. We need to keep reminding ourselves how bad Zimbabwe actually was before the US dollar was introduced and the state many citizens health was in. It was only Zimbabwe that was dealing with these major problems, so surely it has got something to do with the Government? It is very pleasing to see that there is finally a new constitution that has been made and Zimbabwe has a chance of picking up again. In saying this, I have had hope for many years now, but we cannot give up on such a great country. This is why Biti is so concerned with the fact that Zimbabwe citizens must return home in order to vote, because the MDC has a big chance in winning the 2013 elections, and hopefully changing a lot in Zimbabwe, as the MDC has kept positive and have shown a great interest in battles of Zim. The MDC is not a political party, but rather a people’s project, which is extremely encouraging for the people of Zimbabwe as their best interests are being looked after.

I do agree that the joint government that took place in 2009, helped lift the country quite dramatically, however one party needs to be the only one ruling now to get some sort of order. It would be advisable for the people that are struggling in Zimbabwe to go home and vote so that the new constitution can be put to work, and hopefully as Biti said the MDC will win the upcoming elections. Of course there is going to be great tension and conflict which needs to be monitored by fence-sitters, due to the fact that Mugabe is still threatening some of the people to vote from him.

Mugabe knows that he has a very slight chance on winning; after all he is 89 years old and does have mental condition to say the least. One would think and hope that he had already given up by now.  It is encouraging to see the leader Morgan Tsvangirai of the MDC, sticking up for Mugabe and having some sort of faith in him even though he has put his people of Zimbabwe through absolute tragedy. The guidelines of SADC hope to sustain the ‘free, fair and peaceful elections’; however this was ignored on the first day that the referendum was announced.

I believe that Zimbabwe will eventually come right through all the thick and thin and hardship, but once there it would have been worth every conflict (well almost every conflict!).