Monday, April 21, 2008

African trade unions against Bob Mugabe

For the last couple of weeks a shipment of Chinese weapons has unsuccessfully tried to reach its destination, Zimbabwe, the country ruined by Bob Madhat Mugabe and his thugs. Of course, initially the shipment was provided with the usual coverage that African leaders like Thabo Mbeki are known to offer to African dictators ('we have no idea what's on the ship, it might just be cereal for the starving Zimbabweans'). Well, since then a combative South African priest, Rubin Philip, a senior management member of the anglican church organisation in South Africa, went to the Durban High Court and managed to get a verdict preventing that the weapons can be transported across South Africa to Zimbabwe. Good on you Rubin Philip!

In addition to this action the international trade union movement has joined forces against this weapons shipment. In effect trade unions across Southern Africa declared that their members would not help unload the shipment of weapons. Organized transport workers declared that they would not transport the weapons to Zimbabwe. It seems Comrade Mugabe has lost his other comrades' support. The longstanding African tradition of accepting foul leaders, as long as they're black, is rapidly becoming a thing of the past. Mind you, even the Germans are getting in on the act. A German government bank assisting third world development lend a couple of million Euros to a state owned Zimbabwean steel company. The loan was guaranteed by Zim's able government. Of course, it was never repaid. The place is bankrupt and comfortably burning its non-existent midnite oil, mostly courtesy of South African tax payers. Well, the German bank quickly pounced when it heard the story of the shipment. It also went to the Durban High Court to get the shipment seized in lieu for the money owed to it by Bob's government.

It goes without saying, the Chinese captain quickly moved his rustbucket out of South African waters and has since looked for a new harbor to unload his deadly freight. Mozambique's foreign minister declared that he would not permit the shipment to be unloaded in his country. Rumours have it that the ship is en route to Angola, but it has been suggested that the ship would barely have enough fuel on board to reach the most southern harbors of that country. Looks like end game on that front for Bob Madhat Mugabe.


  1. Udo, this may be bad news for you. As you are an ethics professor, maybe you can comment on the supply of banknotes to Zimbabwe by Giesecke & Devrient?

  2. eish... i knew nothing about their very existence, until now. anyway, assuming they're really supplying banknotes to zim, pretty terrible. makes one wonder why german workers (or workers in any of the company's other international operations) can't assist democracy in zim in ways that african workers do...

  3. What do you mean: eish? What's wrong with German workers printing banknotes for the Zimbodeans? Hell, somebody's gotta do it! And the Germans have lots of experience with hyper-inflation. Why, it was one of my grandmother's favourite memories, never could stop telling me about it. You know, taking a wheelbarrow full of 'money' down to the shop in exchange for a loaf of bread, that kind of stuff ... saw an amazing picture in yesterday's paper of Zimbos queuing at the bank with huge laundry baskets to cart their withdrawals away in ... (Clara)


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