On Friday I mentioned the Twitter feed of ZANU-PF, which Robert Mugabe has put to such purposes as apologizing to Zimbabweans killed by his motorcade. The collision of Mugabe and social networking makes for a complicated mix of the horrifying and the frivolous, like when a clown drives drunk. As Morgan Tsvangirai will tell you, Mugabe is a brutal dictator. At 90, he is the last of the generation that shook off colonial rule in Africa. He is terrible at actually running his country, however, and Zimbabwe has spent the last ten years in the grip of a stunning economic crisis that has featured, along with the famines, several consecutive years of multi-hundred-percent inflation. ZANU-PF is killing Zimbabwe, both in spirit and in traffic, which makes their Twitter feed problematically hilarious.
The Combat! blog offices are still relocated in beautiful* Des Moines, where a general atmosphere of holiday cheer/blood toxicity pervades. While I stare fixedly at a cup of coffee without perceiving how much, if any, time is passing, check out this article about how Robert Mugabe is still trying to seize absolute control over Zimbabwe. Mugabe is 86 years old, so it’s either manipulate a fragile African democracy or read The Family Circus again. For the last several years, economists have argued over whether Zimbabwe is experiencing hyperinflation or the highest inflation in the history of money, and the entire country is a testament to what one man not formally educated in economics can achieve when he insists on making all decisions himself. But for my money, the filet of the article is this sentence:
Mr. Charamba, the president’s press secretary, rejected the assertions [that Mugabe’s party would intimidate voters], saying there would be ‘an all-out deployment to assure there is no violence’ by any party.
That’s some primo intimidatory doublespeak, right there. Don’t worry, though: ZANU-PF just found a massive diamond field. That should stabilize the region.