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The Hedge Fund and the Despot

How an investment by one of America's largest hedge funds helped Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe's brutal longtime dictator, maintain his grip on power when he was on the verge of losing it in 2008
posted by knoyers on Aug 23, 2014 - 35 comments

Mugabenomics!

Wealth Redistribution, Zimbabwe Style...
posted by Renoroc on May 20, 2012 - 19 comments

Am I William Woods? Well...who's asking?

Billy Woods is quietly making the best rap music around. [more inside]
posted by broadway bill on Apr 16, 2012 - 20 comments

78 78s

78 78s - In Search Of Lost Time - is a streaming mix of beautiful 78s from around the world, collected and curated by Ian Nagoski. "I started sifting through boxes of junky old 78s that no one else wanted about 15 years ago, and almost right away, I made a rule: Anything that wasn't in English, buy it." [more inside]
posted by carter on Jan 29, 2012 - 15 comments

Last dictator standing

South African fast food chain Nando's ran an amusing ad featuring Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe enjoying himself with a range of deceased despots, to the tune "Those were the days". The Zimbabwean "government" was not amused.
posted by wilful on Dec 4, 2011 - 47 comments

Great Zimbabwe: An African empire

Built by the Shona (1100-1500 AD), the empire of Great Zimbabwe, one of Africa’s greatest civilizations like Egypt and Meroe, stood between present-day Zimbabwe, eastern Botswana and south-east Mozambique. The empire’s highly developed architecture overwhelmed discoverers. And much in the same manner as German anthropologist Doctor Frobenius ignorantly mistook the Kingdom of Ife in Nigeria for the lost kingdom of Atlantis in 1911, some Europeans blatantly refused to believe that Great Zimbabwe was built by Africans. Dawson Munjeri, former director of Great Zimbabwe, a World Heritage site, discusses the history of the exceptional Zimbabwe empire. [more inside]
posted by infini on Nov 15, 2011 - 19 comments

IgNobility 2009

This year's winners of the Ig Nobel prizes are a bumper crop of wild and crazy SCIENCE!, featuring sword-swallowing, knuckle-cracking, benefits of cow-naming, pregnant women NOT tipping over, a household use for giant panda poop (take that, Packham), diamonds made from tequila, a brassiere that can be used as TWO gas masks, "Ireland's Worst Driver", Icelandic banks, Zimbabwean currency, and a 'Peace Prize' earned by hitting people over the heads with beer bottles (and comparing the effects of empty vs. full bottles) (related inquiry)
posted by wendell on Oct 2, 2009 - 23 comments

Zimbabwe power share?

Tsvangirai becomes Zimbabwe's PM, names Finance Minister. Meanwhile: Drive to remove last white farmers; Zim guilty of germ warfare; Anglican Communion insists Mugabe should quit; Mugabe's birthday bash; Red Cross short of aid funds as Zimbabwe cholera grows. Previous Zim
posted by allkindsoftime on Feb 11, 2009 - 20 comments

Out of Africa

Out of Africa. As award-winning Globe and Mail Africa correspondent Stephanie Nolen bids farewell to a place she's come to love, she reflects on how it has changed, and how it changed her. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Dec 16, 2008 - 4 comments

Cholera has killed nearly 600 people and the numbers seem to be jumping almost a hundred a day.

Zimbabwe Hiding Cholera Epidemic. Sadly, no one knows what the real death toll numbers are. First hand report from Sarah Jacobs with Save The Children. Morgan Tsvangirai, backed by former President Carter: Zimbabwe is in shambles...deaths from starvation and a cholera outbreak threaten to surge with the rainy season approaching. [more inside]
posted by allkindsoftime on Dec 3, 2008 - 20 comments

Life under Hyperinflation

Think you've got problems caused by economic meltdown? "Yesterday I had a balance in my account of $2,000 (at old value that is 20 trillion dollars / $20,000,000,000,000.00). This account is dormant, untouched for months. This morning I find I owe the bank $500,000 in service fees for one month’s bank charges to hold my $2,000. This is no joke." This is life in Zimbabwe under hyperinflation. [more inside]
posted by contessa on Oct 2, 2008 - 13 comments

A people too scared to vote.

Zimbabwe: Tsvangirai Withdraws MDC From 'Sham' Poll. Apparently he agrees with Mugabe's claim that only God can remove him from office. Prev Zim.
posted by allkindsoftime on Jun 23, 2008 - 65 comments

Get out of the vehicle, or we'll burn it

Zimbabwe: Holds diplomats (after threatening to burn them), suspends aid, bans opposition rallies.
posted by Artw on Jun 6, 2008 - 70 comments

Mugabe Attempts to Beat Zimbabwe into Submission

"'If voters fail to return Mr. Mugabe to office...Prepare to be a war correspondent.' Mugabe's party in Zimbabwe spasms into mass repression and political violence to prevent Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change from winning power. The African Union dithers, as does the UN (as it gives Zimbabwe leadership positions). Many Chinese rationalize their government's weapon shipment. According to the government-published Herald, everything's just fine. What are the options?
posted by shivohum on May 8, 2008 - 29 comments

There is no crime called ‘committing journalism’ in Zimbabwe

Two reporters, Stephen Bevan of The Sunday Telegraph and Barry Bearak of the New York Times, tell of their ordeal in Zimbabwe. They were arrested for the crime of “committing journalism,” imprisoned, and subsequently released.
posted by found missing on Apr 27, 2008 - 20 comments

Mbira

Ever since I first heard mbira from Zimbabwe almost 30 years ago (via this record), I've been a lover of that enchanting, delicate and intricate music. It's only recently, however, that many of us who aren't actually players of the mbira could see just how the instrument is played: Holding the mbira, and scales - Lesson One - Two - Three - Four, and more and more. And here are some recommended mbira players and groups with MySpace Music pages worth checking out: Spirit Talk Mbira - Mbira Oracle - Kunzawa Mbira Group - Joel Laviolette. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Apr 19, 2008 - 18 comments

Gasoline for that fire?

April 18, 1980: Rhodesia is renamed Zimbabwe after it is granted black majority rule. [more inside]
posted by allkindsoftime on Apr 18, 2008 - 60 comments

And the wheels start coming off again.

"It's ethnic cleansing happening." Fully ten days after elections that most are speculating were indeed won by the opposition party (Movement for Democratic Change), Robert Mugabe still clings to power in Zimbabwe. The voting results have still not been released, and 5 election officials have been arrested, "accused of tampering with the vote to the detriment of Mugabe's tally." Its been a tense time for Zim, and now the violence and land seizures have started again. [more inside]
posted by allkindsoftime on Apr 9, 2008 - 67 comments

Inflation in Zimbabwe

Inflation in Zimbabwe recently reached 160,000%. Get in on the ground floor now by purchasing a $50,000,000 bill (currently selling for 20,000x its value). Dare to become a millionaire!
posted by splatta on Apr 7, 2008 - 93 comments

Mapping the election conditions in Zimbabwe

Mapping the election conditions in Zimbabwe - A project of Sokwanele , the Zimbabwe Civic Action Support Group. Zimbabweans vote in presidential and parliamentary elections on March 29th.
posted by PenDevil on Mar 27, 2008 - 17 comments

So, you thought Cricket was for sissies, aye?

First, a bit of an introduction to the game of Cricket (youtube) for those of us who may not be familiar with the sport. Next, a few clips (1, 2, 3, 4) on how awesome the Gentleman's Game can be (and you thought we didn't do anything but roam around in our white pants and cotton shirts...). But, if that wasn't enough for you, then here's a taste of Twenty20 Cricket (the fast, fast paced version of the game), and the new DLF Indian (pdf) Premier League. (This is in addition to the One Day Matches, which were instituted to bring in a bit more excitement into the game during the 1970's, prior to which the match only consisted of Tests. However, some purists still maintain that the game would've been better served had it not been commercalized to the extent that it has, and still prefer the leisurely pace of the original format to its current incarnation.) [more inside]
posted by hadjiboy on Mar 20, 2008 - 56 comments

Devil’s Pool and daredevils

Taking risks at really large waterfalls: Swimming at the edge of Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe with video, closeups here and Niagara Falls Daredevils. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Mar 5, 2008 - 39 comments

Oliver Mtukudzi, pride of Zimbabwe

Let's pay a visit to Zimbabwe's Oliver Mtukudzi, or Tuku, as he's affectionately known to his fans. His voice has a touch of that sweet soul gravel reminiscent of Georgia's Otis Redding, or Jamaica's Toots Hibberts, but his mellow fingerpicking guitar style and relaxed, loping grooves are African all the way. His earlier stuff is certainly worth going back to as well! And, hey, it's unlikely you'll hear too many other pop stars who sing lines like "Call the mother of my childfren. I am hurt. I was injured while training the ox." [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Sep 16, 2007 - 11 comments

"Look East" looks over

China to withdraw support for the Mugabe regime. China's extensive and growing engagement in Africa will no longer include propping up the failed Zimbabwean regime. Recently on MeFi
posted by Abiezer on Sep 2, 2007 - 22 comments

Meanwhile in Africa...

You will be thoroughly beaten. Zimbabwe, in economic decline for years, may be accelerating towards collapse. Its inflation rate recently hit 1281%, the highest in the world, and a strike by public doctors that began six weeks ago has now spread to nurses, electrical workers and (today) teachers. Those that aren't allowed to strike, like police, are quitting. Last month, Zimbabwe's top judge warned that underfunding had (possibly intentionally) left its judiciary largely unable to function, the nation's electricity provider recently announced that it's broke, its sewage plants started breaking down and polluting urban water supplies, and international observers warned (based on satellite photos, since the government won't allow them in) that famine is looming. In the past, President Robert Mugabe's response to the growing destitution has been to forcibly evict poor urban slum residents into the countryside and bulldoze their homes, to prevent them from organizing politically and to make it difficult for rights organizations to monitor them. Now, he's canceling the 2008 presidential elections (for now, saying that they'll be held in 2010, in conjunction with parliamentary elections, to save money) and ordering security forces to jail and torture political activists. The situation may be approaching a breaking point.
posted by gsteff on Feb 5, 2007 - 48 comments

Hippogoblinmous...

The best Zimbabwe news site on the world wide web.
posted by Huplescat on Dec 13, 2006 - 17 comments

Zambia's new election rules inspire voters

Zambia's presidential election took place in an atmosphere of enthusiasm. New rules ensured that it would be free and fair, making this the most successful election yet in the country's fifteen years of multiparty rule. Still, the challenger's support for Robert Mugabe's dictatorial regime raises some questions about his commitment to democracy. Meanwhile, Mugabe denied rumors that he was postponing his own presidential election, due in 2008. Are Westerners ignoring hopeful news from Africa?
posted by nasreddin on Sep 29, 2006 - 13 comments

Angka again

Dear Comrades After the recent spate of biased and mischievous reporting by the colonialist foreign press, I have ultimately decided to reveal to you, the honest and hard-working citizens of Zimbabwe, a little more of Mugabe - The Man.
posted by four panels on Oct 15, 2004 - 1 comment

Sport and Politics

The Cricket World Cup is turning into a political mess as England boycott Zimbabwe and New Zealand's players refuse to play in Kenya. Meanwhile, Cricket legend, and Pakistani politician, Imran Khan wonders if UK involvement in a war on Iraq should lead to a sporting boycott of England. We've had sporting sanctions on South Africa, Olympic boycotts in 1980 and 1984 - should we ever mix politics and sport?
posted by brettski on Feb 10, 2003 - 14 comments

Zimbabwe dictator Robert Mugabe reiterates his threat to re-distribute land.

Zimbabwe dictator Robert Mugabe reiterates his threat to re-distribute land. "One farmer, one farm policy." What this fool doesn't realize (or perhaps more terribly, really does), is that this policy will cause a devastating famine, and bring about economic chaos: "Commercial agriculture is Zimbabwe’s biggest private employer, providing work — and, almost invariably, accommodation — for about 350,000 people. If Mr Mugabe carries out his threat to evict 2,900 white farmers, the workers and their families — a total of 1.2 million people — will join the ranks of the dispossessed..." Not only that, but his government has been terrorizing black farm hands and others thought to have opposed him in the recent "election." What can be done about Zimbabwe? The EU seems willing to help in case of famine, but there is no guarantee their money will get past Mugabe's pockets.
posted by insomnyuk on Aug 12, 2002 - 30 comments

Genocide Alert for Zimbabwe

Genocide Alert for Zimbabwe issued by Genocide Watch, a group founded by a former State Department official on Cambodia and Rwanda issues, Gregory Stanton, who in 1996 devised the Eight Stages of Genocide: Classification, Symbolization, Dehumanization, Organization, Polarization, Preparation, Extermination, and Denial. GW contends that Zimbabwe has reached Stage 6, Preparation. With the arrest of opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai on treason charges, Robert Mugabe is proving himself impervious to international pressure. Is Zimbabwe really on the brink? If so, what can, or should, we do? Our record isn't good, but we didn't have Stanton's scale then, either.
posted by dhartung on Mar 21, 2002 - 16 comments

E.mail Mugabe.

E.mail Mugabe. Amnesty International, unsurprisingly, has grave concerns for the welfare of Mugabe's opponents, particularly as few international observers remain. It suggests you send a fax or an e.mail asking that he considers the human rights issue and provides an address and number. Very probably a meaningless gesture but hey, you never know.
posted by Fat Buddha on Mar 16, 2002 - 4 comments

US President George W Bush said he did not recognise the outcome [of the Zimbabwe election] and that the election was "flawed". Whoa, Nelly! Where exactly are we with that Florida count these days?
posted by theplayethic on Mar 14, 2002 - 22 comments

The inevitable seems imminent. Despite widespread condemnation of the election process, Robert Mugabe seems destined to win the Zimbabwe Presidency 'legitimately'*.

This is terrible, terrible news.

*please read posts here for explanation of ghost quotes.
posted by davehat on Mar 12, 2002 - 9 comments

Experiences of voting in Zimbabwe

Experiences of voting in Zimbabwe - BBC News Online has a forum where it is displaying emails from Zimbabwe about voter's experiences in the current presidential poll. I think the BBC are using their status responsibly in providing direct information about the conditions there.
posted by adrianhon on Mar 10, 2002 - 7 comments

Today the EU imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe.

Today the EU imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe. For a long time, critics have charged "President" Robert Mugabe with everything from murder to corruption, but the expulsion of Pierre Schori, an EU election observer, for "political arrogance" was the last straw.
posted by Bag Man on Feb 18, 2002 - 13 comments

On the same day that a date was set for elections in Zimbabwe, the Commander of Zimbabwe's Defence forces warned that the military will not support a president who "reverses the gains of the revolution".

All this comes as draconian new powers are poised to be pushed through parliament by the Zanu PF party, despite being rejected earlier this week.
The Guardian's "The Weblog" site has many good sources for background information on Zimbabwe and its political troubles.
posted by davehat on Jan 10, 2002 - 9 comments

Reparations. ZIMBABWE announced new measures yesterday [10/12/01] to enable the Government to nationalise up to 90 per cent of all white-owned land at the stroke of a pen — a move expected to wipe out next year’s crops almost totally.
posted by jfuller on Nov 13, 2001 - 16 comments

Mugabe's secret plan to evict all whites

Mugabe's secret plan to evict all whites Robert Mugabe plans to expel all white farmers from Zimbabwe before next year's elections, according to a secret document obtained by The Telegraph. [...] Entitled Operation Give up and Leave, it reads: The operation should be thoroughly planned so that farmers are systematically harassed and mentally tortured and their farms destabilised until they give in and give up.
posted by dagny on Aug 26, 2001 - 29 comments

the economist presents a very clear review of why and how the zimbabwe elections went horribly wrong and what this means for the future of zimbabwe & africa. [this article is neither long nor hard but it's strong. read it] "After 20 years of ZANU government, the average Zimbabwean is a third poorer and can expect to die more than 15 years younger. . . The responsibility for reviving the sick economy still rests with Mr Mugabe and ZANU. Half of the workforce is jobless. Inflation is eating Zimbabweans’ savings at a rate of almost 70% a year. An unrealistic exchange rate has led to shortages of fuel and other imports. Mr Mugabe’s plans to seize white-owned farms without compensation, and his contradictory statements about whether he will do the same to mines and factories, have scared off both foreign and domestic investors. Despite having some of the most fertile land in Africa, Zimbabwe could need food aid this year."
posted by palegirl on Jun 30, 2000 - 17 comments

Zimbabwe is too important not to blog

Zimbabwe is too important not to blog My pal, technical saviour, and usurper in the race toward pessimism and gloom Luke Tymowski has quietly beavered away producing a Tomalak's Ream-esque daily digest of Zimbabwe news. Benighted Jakob Nielsen just finished saying that Web writing like this is the only way to go. Does he read Luke? He oughta. A lotta people oughta.
posted by joeclark on May 30, 2000 - 4 comments

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