Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Measuring Mugabe.

In the years following independence, Zimbabwe had the second largest economy south of the Sahara and the third highest per capita gross domestic product. In the first two years after independence, the economy grew by 24 per cent. This was followed by 5 per cent annualised growth in the next 15 years. The highest inflation rate was 12 per cent.

Today, 70 per cent of the country’s commercial agriculture has been destroyed by government mismanagement. Only 10 per cent of the winter food crop was planted due to lack of fuel and fertilisers. More than four million Zimbabweans are in need of food aid, 45 per cent of the population is malnourished and unemployment is over 85 per cent. One in four of the population has HIV-AIDS and 350 children in Zimbabwe are orphaned every day due to the disease. Zimbabwe has the lowest life expectancy in the world. Women can expect to live to 34.

Inflation is running as high as 150,000 per cent. The price of a carton of milk taken from a supermarket shelf can be higher by the time it reaches the checkout.

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