As a guide to policy, Kwame Nkrumah's much-quoted maxim – "Seek ye the political kingdom (and all other things shall be added unto it)" – has manifestly failed to deliver the goods to numerous unhappy citizenries.
As the Zimbabwean economy continues to do a passable impression of a drunken skydiver flailing around for a ripcord, there are plenty of sideline fiddlers. For those in the thick of it, the facts are these:
Year-on-year inflation rate in May: 1,193.5%
Highest year-on-year increases: medical services (11,029.9%), postal services (5,180.4%); hairdressing (4,665.6%).
A loaf of bread: Z$130,000
Largest denomination of real bank note: Z$1,000
Largest denomination of temporary bearer cheque (issued by the Reserve Bank): Z$100,000
Minimum monthly wage: For an industrial worker, Z$6.8 million; for a domestic worker, Z$2.6 million
For those interested in the detail of Zimbabwean politics, here are two (long) pieces worth reading. The first is an explanation from David Coltart, an MDC MP who until recently stood back from the split in the opposition party, of why he feels he cannot join the majoritarian faction of the MDC led by Morgan Tsvangirai. The second is an interview with the secretary-general of the 'pro-senate' MDC, Prof. Welshman Ncube. An interesting fact is that the interview appears in the Sunday News, a government-owned paper. Since the MDC began tearing itself apart, the two factions collectively have received a lot more publicity in the local press than they ever did before the split.
My own view is that change will come along the lines of the Eastern European experience with a transitional government drawn largely from within the ruling party via a government of 'national unity' to a new dispensation following internationally supervised (or at least monitored) elections. While I am intellectually more convinced by the smaller 'pro-senate' faction of the MDC, they do not seem, at least so far, to have carried the bulk of the MDC's supporter base with them. Personally, as long as the (I think inevitable) transition process ends in an election that is seen to be free and fair, I don't really care who kickstarts that chain of events: MDC1, MDC2 or ZANU PF realists.