Friday, May 23, 2008
What was that ?? Zim inflation hits 1 000 000 percent
ZIMBABWE’s inflation rate has hit one million percent, a number that beggars belief and signals the end of that country’s formal economy.
It is simply no longer possible to place a price on anything because it is rising by the minute and all purchases now become acts of negotiation or bartering.
The unimaginable number — 1 063 572 percent, to be exact (21 May 2008) — is not a thumbsuck. It is the considered opinion of independent finance houses, reports wire service Sapa.
“As stores opened for business Wednesday, a small pack of locally produced coffee beans cost just short of 1bn Zimbabwe dollars. A decade ago, that sum would have bought 60 new cars.”
Other statistics throw the economic crisis into sharp relief:
A loaf of bread cost 200 million Zimbabwe dollars at the time the story was written. It will be much more by the time you read this.
A number in the region of 5 million percent is being predicted for October.
Government’s official figure for February was already 165 000 percent, the highest in the world, the report said.
The fact that refugees from xenophobic violence in South Africa are preparing to return to a country where the economy is in such a parlous state is testimony to the hell they have experienced in this country.
But Zimbabwe’s economic ruin, its gerrymandering of electoral processes, its purchase of vast amounts of Chinese armaments and its human rights abuses remain acceptable to South Africa’s political elite.
Why else would President Thabo Mbeki regularly visit Mugabe in Harare? Why else would South Africa say that the arms transaction which had the world aghast took place “between two sovereign nations”?
The reality is that this country is paying a heavy price for Zimbabwe’s failure. A price that is growing with every day of dithering.