Zimbabwe Down To $217 In Bank Accounts

200px-mugabecloseup2008280px-Sparschwein_Haspa02We have previously discussed the corrupt regime of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe and his globe-trotting wife. So Mugabe and his friends and family have reportedly stolen hundreds of millions (particularly from diamond mining), but they decided to leave $217 in the bank for the rest of the country — that is far more restraint than they have been known for in the past. Now In the meantime, many are celebrating the world’s first female billionaire. She is Isobel Dos Santos. A considerable achievement to be sure until you learn that she is the daughter of Angolan president José Eduardo dos Santos, the second longest-serving leader on the continent and like Mugabe has been openly draining the country of wealth for decades for his family and friends.


Zimbabwe’s finance minister Tendai Biti admitted that “[l]ast week when we paid civil servants there was $217 [left] in government coffers.” He then added the most understated observation in history “We are failing to meet our targets.” I would have to agree since a single lemonade stand could double the national finances of Zimbabwe.

President Robert Mugabe is largely responsible for the economic meltdown with his seizure of thousands of white-owned farms without any serious planning or preparation. The result was the gutting of the agricultural foundation of the country. His runaway corruption and lack of economic planning then triggered hyperinflation. In August 2008, inflation reached 11,200,000 percent. The country actually issued Z$100 trillion notes. Throughout this period, the Mugabe family continued to live in grotesque luxury while robbing the country of its resources.

The situation over in Angola is hardly better, but not surprisingly Isabel dos Santos has claimed the title of the world’s first billionaire woman — ignoring outcries over the systematic looting of that equally poor country by her family. The 40-year-old is often referred to as “the princess” in Angola and acquired this wealth through such enterprises as an Angolan bank and control of a cable television company. Her wedding reportedly costs millions with fine wines and food flown in from France. In the meantime, those unfortunate to live under the yoke of her family make an average of $2 a day.

Forbes found that Isabel dos Santos’s shares in several Portuguese firms, including a cable television company and an Angolan bank, put her on the billionaires’ list for the first time. Most of the population in the southern African nation live on about $2 a day. That of course did not stop various “you go girl” stories as people reported that the world’s finally has a billionaire woman.

The continued corruption in these countries raises the continual question of our spending aid that is used to prop up these regimes. These leaders hold their people hostage. If we cut off aid, the people starve. Yet, our aid is used to sustain what are simply criminal enterprises by these families.

Source: Atlantic Wire

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