Just take a look at Zimbabwe, which until recently was one of Africa's leading agricultural producers. In fact agriculture contributed to 45% of Zimbabwe's export earnings and provided livelihood to more than 70% of the population. Tragically, more than seven million Zimbabweans today rely on food assistance, according to the UN World Food Program.
Zimbabwe's economy is in ruins. Disease runs rampant. The public health system has collapsed.
"It hurts that as we celebrate here today there are some who are in prison. I can assure you that they are not going to remain in those dungeons any day or any week longer." Morgan Tsvangirai, Zimbabwe's new Prime Minister, made this pledge to thousands of Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) supporters following his swearing-in ceremony on 11 February 2009 at Glamis Stadium in Harare.
The New York Times Feb. 13 editorial on Zimbabwe's new unity government got it partly right. That the country's illegitimate president, Robert Mugabe, will not allow the new prime minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, to establish rule of law and bring much-needed relief to the seven million starving people is an accurate presupposition based on Mugabe's past three decades of autocratic misrule.
Newsweek's 31 January interview with Zimbabwe's central banker, Gideon Gono, is lamentable not only for its factual inaccuracies, but also for giving voice to a Mugabe henchman whose monetary policies have led to the collapse of the economy, shuttering of hospitals, and closing of schools.