Zimbabwe – last to leave, Never Mind Turning Off the Lights – They’re Already Off

By: John C.K. Daly of Oilprice.com

In the 32 years of his benighted rule, Zimbabwe’s President Robert Gabriel Mugabe has done more damage to the country than its white-led minority government ever did.

With the exception of the smuggling of “blood diamonds” the country’s economy, once the “breadbasket of Africa,” resembles nothing so much as a slow motion train wreck.

One of the foundations of modern nations’ economic prosperity are reliable sources of power and here too, Mugabe and his Zimbabwe African National Union cronies have managed to screw things up.

While the country has a peak electricity demand of about 2,200 megawatts, it only produces 1,200 megawatts because its installed power generation capacity cannot meet demand, which primarily comes from the Hwange Power Station (HPS) and Kariba Power Station (KPS).

According to Mugabe, it’s because those pesky international sanctions scare away potential investors and are a covert cover for the return of the colonialist British.

So, in the meantime, what to do to meet the energy shortfall?

Why, import electricity from neighboring Mozambique, South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Here too the bankruptcy of ZANU-PF policies is evident, as last month Mozambique’s government threatened to shut off electricity exports from its Hydro Cabora Bassa dam if Harare didn’t pay its outstanding $90 million debt.

But, a million here, a million there – at the same time that Maputo was threatening to pull the plug, Zimbabwean Energy and Power Development Minister Elton Mangoma informed the country’s legislature that the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) has run up a $1 billion debt in un-serviced loans, imports on unpaid credit and the country’s investment in a joint power project with Zambia, yet to be built. No doubt adding to the politicians’ unease, Mangoma has stated that the troubled power utility has no capacity to extend, much less alleviate, the outstanding debt.

So, what to do to return ZESA to financial health? On 22 February Mangoma told a press conference that some customers have not paid their electricity bills since 2009, noting, “ZESA has offered to customers a facility to propose workable payment plans, regrettably some have chosen either to ignore this facility or not to honor their payment plans, leaving ZESA with no option except to withdraw supplies. Power disconnections are currently being applied ‘wholesomely’ to ensure that all customer categories meet their obligation of paying for service rendered. All customers currently in arrears run the risk of disconnections” before salving the announcement somewhat by stating that all disconnections will be done after a five-day notice.

As for why these multitudinous miscreant scofflaws stopped paying their bills several years ago, it might be noted here that ZANU-PF mismanagement of the economy by July 2008 produced an inflation rate of to 231 MILLION percent, according to Zimbabwe’s Central Statistical Office. Driven by soaring food prices, the government abandoned the nation’s old currency completely the following year. At the time that the Zimbabwean government issued its data, the economy had imploded by nearly 50 percent over the previous decade.

Could those Zimbabwean consumers had issues on their minds marginally more pressing than paying the electricity bills?

Like buying food when bread’s price in July 2008 had risen to over $7,000 a loaf?

But ZESA, showing impartiality, last month also disconnected the services of three government Cabinet ministers. While Magoma declined to provide their names to the press, citing confidentiality concerns, informed sources identified the trio as Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo, Manicaland Governor Christopher Mushowe and Energy Permanent Secretary Justin Mupamanga.

Their collective tab?

A mere $378,000.

So, where does Zimbabwe go from here?

Mugabe’s wrecking of the Zimbabwean economy can be squarely laid at his policy for favoring political loyalty over expertise, as he showered political office, land and favors on his ZANU-PF supporters. Crawling through the bush with an AK-47 is one thing, farming another.

Compare Zimbabwe’s travails with neighboring South Africa, whose first black president, Nelson Mandela, pursued instead a conciliatory approach to the country’s white minority despite 27 years in prison at the hands of same.

Enough said.

In 1994 Mugabe was appointed an honorary Knight Grand Cross in the Order of the Bath by Queen Elizabeth II. On 25 June 2008, Queen Elizabeth II cancelled and annulled Mugabe’s honorary knighthood. But Zimbabweans may yet have further traumas and/or a sunnier future in store. Last month Mugabe revealed that his 15-year-old son, Bellarmine Chatunga, harbors presidential ambitions. In a series of interviews in the state-controlled media, the 88 year-old Mugabe told his nation, “Bellarmine always says ‘I want to be president’ and so on, but I say you must pass, you see, the President, your father, how many degrees does he hold? Can you do that?”

No doubt the teenaged Bellarmine has profound ideas on how to salvage the country’s economy.

And turn the lights back on.

And deal with an estimated 50 percent unemployment rate.

And an outbreak of typhoid in the capital Harare.

And if Junior needs help, he can always turn to Dear Old Dad. At his 88th birthday on 21 February Mugabe jokingly told state radio, “I have died many times. That’s where I have beaten Christ. Christ died once and resurrected once. I am as fit as a fiddle.” The birthday celebrations for the octogenarian were estimated to cost $1 million.

What is the Shona word for “yikes?”

Source: http://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Zimbabwes-Ongoing-Energy-Nightmare.html

By: John C.K. Daly of Oilprice.com


A Littanous Littman Rant: Sovereignty Lost

By: Toddy Littman

The reality is this: Romney, as the nominee, guarantees 4 more years of Progressive government, irrespective of who wins in November.

Lazy bum Americans who think beating one man will save their country, only justify and admit that NEA education of dependency has succeeded in undermining the rugged individualism that is trademark American. “Self-Government” requires an engaged population, in the 150+ years (since 1857) that the NEA has been teaching us how our servant government is actually our Master Government, has finally destroyed this quality of the American, at least a standard of measure in the whole value and meaning of politics.

Our Founders wrote for futures, James Madison well explaining how the Convention, through the Constitution, sought to do what the Articles of Confederation didn’t: End slavery by 1808, in 20 years time, http://thomas.loc.gov/home/histdox/fed_42.html

“Slavery” had an institutional meaning, to be sure, but the meaning that is missed is the one relating to “Property in Rights,” (see http://changingwind.org/index/comment.php?comment.news.96) to which Our Founders wanted the entirety of unalienable Rights to be a well recognized Sovereignty that attaches to all who were here by ratification of Our Written Constitution, and used this instrument of the Union as best they could to end slavery, for they knew the utter hypocrisy of this institution being continued by a people who were slaves by serfdom to the Crowns of Europe.

But as we return to the present day, we are always trying to elect someone “to change things for us,” like children, we treat the government as our Parent. The difference this time is that in all the reigns of crowns since the time of the Hammurabi Code, the people were submissive for a reason: Their Faith, whether a real or imagine religious purpose, their conviction out of fear of retribution, was true.

Our current “we must defeat Obama” sacrifice of all principle, ignoring the facts of the “front runner” being a Progressive in all the same ways as Obama (see http://changingwind.org/index/comment.php?comment.news.208), is the undoing of the Freedom and Individual Liberty that Our Founders fought for, for which most of the 56 Signers of the Declaration of Independence died. Voting for Romney only proves this fact, that the Principles of America have given way to the media claimed issue of import. We no longer compare Freedom, of mind and of Right as the backdrop of contrast as to who is the best candidate, allowing our educated relation of money-to-Freedom, and the narrowing of concern thereby, the “rational” thought, to dictate our choices.

We no longer lead our government but have agreed to be led by government, agreeing to be the “Gold” from “led” for the Politburo/Noble Class of Progressive Government out of DC.

Please, vote for Romney to beat Obama, and ignore the Progressive machine and its promotion of Collectivism, and having a Collectivist State, as a desired political value of a nation founded on the principle of Individual Liberty; ignore the impact this has had on our education; ignore the impact this is having on who you are voting for; and ignore the fact this has brought us to believe in government, well evidenced by believing that if we beat one man we’ll save our nation, a rather onerous admission that we’re already a tyranny, and accepting Dictatorship as a legitimate form of government.

Freedom and Individual Liberty, what America was founded upon, is, by our hearts and minds in voting as we are today, extinct. May we realize that we have the God Given unalienable Right to resurrection of this Principle, of the fire of Liberty that animated Our Founders and the Tea Party before it is too late.


Did Wisconsin Judge violate law for NAACP and unions in Voter ID ruling?

By: Jeffrey Klein

Democrat subterfuge has now risen to “infect” the judiciary in the state of Wisconsin, in the recall effort against Governor Scott Walker, in retaliation against his administration and the newly Republican dominated legislature, after they were ultimate successful in curtailing public union collective bargaining power in the area of benefits, primarily healthcare and retirement.

After a hearing on the NAACP-Wisconsin branch lawsuit filed against the new GOP-backed voter ID law, Dane County Circuit Judge David Flanagan issued a temporary injunction, blocking the implementation of the law, according to a FOXNews article today.

There is just one small problem–sometime prior to hearing this case, Judge Flanagan signed a petition for the recall of Republican Gov. Scott Walker, who is a named defendant in the case.

Even for a first year law student, this case posed a starkly obvious “conflict of interest” for Judge Flanagan, which would normally have required the judge to recuse himself from participation in the case.

Now, after the fact, it appears as though there could also be a possible breach of judicial ethics–compelling the Republican Party of Wisconsin to file a formal complaint against Judge Flanagan, questioning the judge’s [obvious] “bias” toward the case.

The party is also demanding a probe, by the state judicial commission, into Judge Flanagan’s “failure … to maintain the appearance of impartiality” in the voter ID case.

In a prompt response, Wisconsin State Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, issued a statement on their website … “I have now had the opportunity to review Judge Flanagan’s “Order Granting Motion for Temporary Injunction,” in Milwaukee Branch of the NAACP, et al. v. Walker, et al., Dane County Case No. 11 CV 5492, and consult with my staff.

We will be moving quickly to bring this matter before an appellate court to ensure that the properly-enacted and legally-sufficient Voter ID law will be in full force and in effect before the April elections.”

According to my January 17, 2012 Examiner article, … ‘the first hurtle for the union-led recall drive will be to have enough ‘legitimate’ signatures on the recall petitions, boxes of which were delivered to the State Capitol by the liberal group “United Wisconsin,” to meet the estimated 540,208 necessary, according to Mike Tobin’s FOXNews article from January 18, 2012.

Fraud is already suspected, as testimony by elections officials during hearings late last year [2011], revealed that Mickey Mouse and Adolf Hitler had signed the petitions, and some others were found to have signed multiple times.’

The Republican-led legislature, in knowing who they were up against, were already out in front on this issue by passing Wisconsin’s first ‘voter [photo] ID law,’ which, especially in the case of Mr. Mouse and Hitler, would make it extremely difficult for them to vote–should they also register.

No reasonably bright person needs a trail of crumbs to follow what is happening here.

First, the recall effort against Governor Walker and Republicans is being led by national labor unions, with the ultimate intent of reversing Walker’s legislation that clamped down on collective bargaining, and importantly, cut-off their cash flow, coming from union dues which had been automatically extracted from ALL union member paychecks.

Second, the NAACP attack against the new voter ID law was an attempt to “neutralize” this effective defense mechanism against the massive voter fraud, mentioned in election official testimonies above.

Finally, it has always been clear that the largest perennial conflict of interest exists between mostly Democrat politicians, who while sitting across the collective bargaining table “allow” increasingly incredible union contract benefit levels, in return for receiving 97% of the political campaign contributions from the very same Democrat-dominated public labor unions, whose bosses sat on the other side of the same table.

Wisconsin is the initial battle ground state, being quickly followed by others, in the effort to end collective bargaining for benefits and the automatic collection of union dues for public sector labor unions–the practical result of which will run them out of business all together.

This is a perfect example of pure, wholesome taxpayer revolt at the state level–and a great template to use at the federal level very soon.