Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Mugabe blames the west for being a tyrant.

Africa: I can't wait till this fool croaks, death is too good for him.

President Robert Mugabe opened a new legislative year Tuesday with a speech to Parliament blaming economic problems on the U.S., Britain and other Western critics of his human rights record. Zimbabwe is in a state of economic collapse, suffering from the world's highest inflation rate — more than 1,000 percent — and shortages of all basic goods. A quarter of its 16 million people has emigrated since 2000 and millions more are dependent on aid. "My tribute goes to the gallant people of Zimbabwe for continuing to exhibit great fortitude despite the prevailing economic challenges which are orchestrated by the country's detractors," the 82-year-old president told legislators. The meltdown is widely blamed on the seizure of white-owned farms which began in 2000 and has been accompanied by a clampdown on the independent press, human rights groups and political opponents. Mugabe said a national regulating authority would be established in the coming year to monitor electronic communications. Critics say the move will give the secret police extraordinary powers to intercept mail, e-mail, telephone or cell phone communications. Mugabe said recent rains have raised hope for an "economic turnaround" and a revival of agriculture under new, black holders of land grants. A recent government report said only 40 percent had occupied their farms or small-scale plots, leaving millions of acres derelict and unproductive.

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