This BBC News article brought a rarely-discussed issue to mind...why don't African leaders speak out against the misdeeds of their fellow leaders? Why is it that seasoned Presidents like OBJ, Ghana's Kuffour, SA's Mbeki don't have the guts to openly criticize Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe, or Sudan's President Bashir, for their crimes against their countrymen? Some argue that because the West is constantly criticizing African leadership, these leaders believe that it's unproductive to go about criticizing each other. Others say they would be "disrespecting their elders". Do you think that this "quiet diplomacy" is imperative for African Unity or will it lead to the gradual collapse of the continent if it persists?
ZIMBABWE 'COLLAPSE IN SIX MONTHS'
Zimbabwe will collapse within six months, possibly leading to a state of emergency, says a leaked briefing report for aid workers in the country. Rampant inflation will mean shops and services can no longer function and people would resort to barter, it said. "The memorandum is talking about a situation where there is no functioning government or a total breakdown," an unnamed aid worker told the UK Times.
Zimbabwe's inflation is already 3,714% - the highest rate in the world. Some firms were already partly paying their workers in food, rather than money, [the report] said. Shops were doubling their prices twice a month, so they could purchase replacement goods. If this continues, "doubling the current inflation for each of the seven remaining months of 2007 gives 512,000% thus the economic collapse is expected before the end of 2007," said the report, according to the AP news agency.
The security forces who have remained loyal to President Robert Mugabe were also feeling the effects. The report said an ordinary police officer earned less than aid workers paid their domestic staff. It said power and water suppliers were already near collapse. Electricity was last month rationed to just four hours a day to save power for farmers. Just one adult in five is believed to have a regular job. Some 4m Zimbabweans - a third of the population - will need food aid this year, according to the UN World Food Programme.
Mr Mugabe denies responsibility for Zimbabwe's economic problems, blaming a western plot to bring down his government because of his policy of seizing white-owned land.