Sunday, March 01, 2009

Happy Birthday, Robert Mugabe.

I hate being a grump all the time, so today I wish Robert Mugabe a happy birthday.

I can hear you saying: "Dag, are you serious?" Let me put it this way: "Did he invite me?"

Or, I could put it this way: "Would any of us gone if we had been invited?"

Mugabe's birthday event, which is reported to have cost $250,000, comes as a new unity government aims to tackle an economic crisis that has rendered the Zimbabwean dollar useless.

Mugabe, who has been president of Zimbabwe since 1980, admitted that his Zanu-PF party had lost last March's legislative elections.

The MDC leader has in recent weeks appealed to international donors for $5bn in aid and investment.

About three million Zimbabweans - a fifth of the population - have left the country to escape economic hardship or send remittances to relatives back home.

More than 83,000 people have also been affected by a cholera epidemic that has killed more than 3,800, according to the UN.

Zimbabwe's schools, hospital and sewerage have fallen into disrepair as a result of hyperinflation.

Agricultural output in Zimbabwe has fallen dramatically since 2000, when Mugabe launched his policy of seizing white-owned commercial farms and turning them over to native Africans.

Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe's president, has urged the country’s last remaining white farmers to leave the country....

A decade ago, Zimbabwe produced enough maize to export the surplus. Now more than half the population is estimated to need food aid.

Happy Birthday, Bobbie!

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