Advantages Vic Falls
|Value for Money|
|Ease of getting around|
Mugabe is doing to black people what the west has always done by proxy but refuse to confront that guilt and responsibility. Zim used to be called the bread basket of Africa, its core white farmers mobilizing its cheap black labor to grow huge cash-crops and easily feed the country and those around it. Now it's the basket case of Africa, Mugabe allowed to fester there far too long as he has outlived his usefulness to the west now that the Cold War is long over, the original reason why the British put him in power.Mugabe is doing what's he's doing because he's knows the west wont do anything to stop him. Even if he had oil, as long as he was doing what we taught him in the best British universities we still wouldn't be doing anything about him. Hell, we would probably be helping him to put down the MDC opposition in Mr Changaria to keep the oil in safe hands, as we seem to be doing in Egypt with Mubarak. Sierra Leon were lucky as they had western quality diamonds and so quickly relieved of their warlords by the west. But like Rwanda all he had is people and dust, and as we saw in Iraq, the only time we act is when our dictators are not doing what they are told. There really is no tactical reason to se him off right now, especially as he is now using slave labor to sell his blood diamonds, even more reason to back him.
I traveled through Zimbabwe in the 1990s on the way to see the Victoria Falls, and apart from the now perfunctory inflation problems, it was just like any other African country that had rejected its colonial past. Once the white's 'discipline' and commerce is bleed out of these countries they quickly deteriorate. It's starting to happen in South Africa with white farmers having their farms taken away and as we saw in Kenya, tribal law and chaos returns when white government is demolished completely.The reason the white farms are taken away is because the new black African governments promise too much too soon to its black masses and a token farm gesture is all they have left after all else fails to solve the countries crime and poverty. The expression, 'Basket case', comes from Black Africa's failure to grasp commerce and democracy when given a chance. South Africa is that chance and I expect that to go down the pan too. The white Africans didnt ever want to mess up Africa they wanted to make it work the only way it could.
The core problem in Zimbabwe is the population has not been allowed to forget Ian Smith and colonial occupation. Speaking to Zimbabweans when I was there they wanted to see the return of the white farmers ands the discipline and organization they bring. 'At least people had jobs, hope and food and housing back then', the mantra you heard. Zimbabweans are told loyalty is voting against the whites and their colonial history and so have to vote for the odious alternative in Mugabe, who's constant rhetoric about the west being the cause of Africa's problem getting through to enough of the frightened and deliberately impoverished people. Surrounding black African countries agree with that nonesense and so the pain goes on and on. No black leader is ever going to admit that the whites are the only ones that can make Africa work. And its nothing to do with intelligence or ability, its to do with the Cold War and how east and west backed and educated certain leaders between the 60s and 80s to feed their oil, mineral and political needs. If the Russians were supporting leaders in a Marxist African state then we the west had to take over the country next door to keep an eye on him.We, the west, didn't care what damage it did to the countries but just what we could get from the situation. Now, some 30 years on, it makes us feel better and less guilty by shouting for the underdogs like Changari, even though we really don't care. With a head-to-head election likely to come next year over the spring, Mugabe only has to claw back 7% of the vote to steel the election, and with the feared War Veterans already sharpening their machetes they will hack that 7% into the dust....the hypocritical west again doing nothing. The machettes are probably made in the west to. In fact Mugabe could even throw the opposition in jail he is that confident all these pointless international election observers will mean nothing to the eventual result. So if there are any cretins left out there who still believe we invaded Iraq to bring democracy then just look into the evil eyes of Mugabe as he wins his eight election in 2012 as we do nothing.
My experience of Zim was just three days, the same as most tourists, taking the Blue Train up through south Africa to Harare ,and then on to Victoria Falls on the border, where I jumped off the bridge on a piece of elastic. It was all very James Bond. The biggest challenge for me at the falls (apart from the malaria drugs)where the apes and monkeys, like the ones on Gibraltar, well versed in annoying and teasing tourists. The little critters would come in your tent at night and try and steel your stuff. They are really persistent too and I'm sure they had it away with my camera.Wouldnt surprise m if some of the more unscrupulous locals trained them up they were that good.Vic Falls are spectacular although it's best to go early in the year when it's the wet season. Whilst I was there in September 98 it was barely a trickle going over, meaning the more daring could jump in too little pools and eddy's that swirl around the edge of the precipice. I couldn't resist and slid into the cool frothy water. What I didn't realize was it was a refuge for all the other animals and insects that also didn't want to go over the edge, muggings here getting bitten by all sorts.
Harare was colonial Britain meets downtown Nairobi...good bits and bad bits, and you need local knowledge to explore it. I was there in the mid-nineties when Mugabe was beginning to turn and steel the white farms, although backpackers and the like were treated well. Accommodation was very cheap and a beer cost 45p a bottle with the total train fare less than £35 for the return trip it was certainly the cheapest part of my 8 months in Southern Africa. And some of the Zimbabwean girls are very sweet and pretty...
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