Thursday, April 03, 2008

Election fever, waiting and zimflation

If you have not noticed that Zimbabwe held elections for Parliament, Senate, Local council and President last Saturday you must either be off this planet or on a "no media for months"-diet.

So we now stand in a historical scenario where the ruling Zanu has lost the majority in Parliament, yet there is no celebration going on, no jubilations on the streets etc. Why? Because everyone knows that the real power in Zimbabwe lies not in Parliament (or Senate) but with the executive Presidency. And on the outcome of that election no official figures have been given.

So we wait and we wait. In the lack of information the air is thick with rumours from various coup scenarios to rigging to outright win for one candidate or the other. Did I mention negotiations between the 2 major parties? Just check or to find a few of them. The Herald on claims it will need a second run-off election and given their state as "official media" here that is what most people think.

If that will happen or is true remains to be seen... we wait and we wait.

In the meantime we are all billionaires. I kid thee not when I tell you that onions cost 20 million. Each. Imported but even so. A cheap lunch on the town is around 200 millions. We have had more cash-crisis than I care to remember - meaning it is difficult to actually find notes/cash enough for your daily transactions. A reasonably large shopping of groceries will easily hit 3 billions. I like the guy who waved a placard around in a photo "I am a starving billionaire".

The house is full of money that has become unusable, from 10 dollar notes up to 10 000. The kids play with them, what else can they be used for?

What does over 100 000 % inflation mean? One way to illustrate: end of December we were allowed to withdraw 50 million a day from the bank, roughly enough for a few groceries. Now we are allowed 500 million a day and that will take you just as far. Or 2 lunches or 25 tomatoes. Now THAT is inflation to you - in 3 months.
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