Zimbabwe Inflation Running at 100,000%, Life Expectancy Drops to 37


Look at Zimbabwe. Inflation is officially running at about 7,000% per year. But unofficial estimates say the rate for this year will turn out to be more like 100,000%. Marc visited Zimbabwe recently. He says he went out to buy a bottle of orange squash on Monday; it was 120,000 Zim dollars. On Tuesday, the price had gone up to 180,000. And by Friday, it was at 600,000.

This would seem all very funny, but currencies mean something to ordinary people. At the margin, they can make the difference between life and death. Thanks to Robert Mugabe’s financial management, the average man in Zimbabwe can expect to drop dead at the age of 37. As recently as 1990, he could have looked forward to 60. While life expectancy plummeted, so did job expectancy. The average guy has only a 50/50 chance of finding work.

But here’s the kind of detail that gives us hope for the future. We may not survive it, but at least it will be amusing. It’s apparently the Africans’ turn to head the UN Commission on Sustainable Development. Naturally, they turn to a country that has found a way to sustain un-development – Zimbabwe. The country has been going downhill ever since they kicked Ian Smith out of office in 1979.

(Ian Smith is still alive, we believe. He is living in Cape Town, South Africa. Perhaps he should be called back to service…like Churchill in WWII…or Petain.)

The man given the post of heading up the commission on sustainable development is named Francis Nhema, a crony of Robert Mugabe. His personal contribution to sustainable development is that when he was given one of the farms stolen from white farmers, he let it go to rack and ruin.

Bill Bonner
The Daily Reckoning Australia

Bill Bonner

Bill Bonner

Best-selling investment author Bill Bonner is the founder and president of Agora Publishing, one of the world's most successful consumer newsletter companies. Owner of both Fleet Street Publications and MoneyWeek magazine in the UK, he is also author of the free daily e-mail The Daily Reckoning.
Bill Bonner

Latest posts by Bill Bonner (see all)



  1. Instead of bringing back one rascist autocrat to replace another, perhaps Zimbabwe would fair a whole let better with free and fair democratic elections.

    I mean there was a reason that ordinary Zimbabweans engaged in a long running struggle to oust Smith’s rascist regime.

  2. Did the people oust Smith because he was racist or because they were? I mean since Mugabe got elected it has been one long diatribe against White people in Zimbabwe. If they were only trying to gain control of ‘their’ country there was no reason to strip the whites of any elected representatives, nor to strip the farmers of their farms, thus bringing on the famine.

    Now that the country is effectively ruined and the country is back in the dark ages economically, the removal of Mugabwe is imperative, along with his ‘Socialist” economics.

    Brian Wheatley
    October 16, 2007
  3. I don’t think a subject such as this can be consistently analysed without taking into account the long history of colonialism within southern Africa, and the consistent marginalisation of blacks.

    Mugabe is just another autocrat who uses such a history to play up an external evil to consolidate his own power.

    Some old white man is not going to save Zimbabwe. Only people power will save Zimbabwe.

  4. Mr. Bonner, you are being used to further British propaganda and her bid to overthrown the legitimate government of Zimbabwe. I don’t want to call you a racist because I don’t know you. I can tell you though that Mugabe is a hero to black people world wide because he did the right thing by taking back the land. The land was a gift from God and it was morally wrong that 1% of the population owned 85% of the land. How would you feel sir, if I invaded your home, raped your wife and imprison your children. This is what the “white man” did in southern africa and it was wrong. Until whites like yourself understand black people’s frustration about being completely dominated by whites we will never have an understanding on the zimbabwe situation. Mugabe may have made mistakes but on the land reform program he is 100% right. Whites controlled Zimbabwe for over 90 years, hearding blacks into communal lands and stealing the country natural resources while exploiting natives. Please leave Zimbabwe alone—-in time the land reform program will work. The British are wrong for their actions and taking a bilateral dispute and internationalizing it. The sanctions are hurting Zimbabwe. However, Mugabe popularity with blacks world wide will continue to grow because he is doing the right thing. Whites push Mandela but astute blacks like me know that the true hero of blacks is Mugabe. Thanks for listening. I don’t think I will change your opinion of Zimbabwe but I do hope you realize that West is wrong and blacks in South Africa, Namibia and the world see the British want to dominate. The land in South Africa and Namibia must be returned to natives and the West does not want Zimbabwe to succeed because they’re afraid that Namibia and South Africa will be next. However, land reform will take place in these countries; it is just a matter of time. The poor in these countries want remain patient forever. Mandela does not talk about land reform because he made a deal with the white minority government who gaved up power. Thanks again. black anerican—new orleans.

  5. The present hyperinflation in Zimbabwe can be given a curative treatment,albeit cant say how much it will be effective.Inputs needed are mass prayers to the God that international relief of food,clothes amd medicines reach Zimbabwe at the earliest and it is distributed in a fair and honest manner

  6. It is interesting that as I am awaiting a copy of “Mobs, Messiahs and Markets” which in its promotional literature states “You’ll see that a lot of what we see in life is actually founded on lies…fraud…and exaggerations.” and yet we have Bill Bonner peddling the blatant lie that Mugabe is responsible for HIV/AIDS and the severe impact it has on life expectancy in the whole of Sub-Sahara Africa and not just Zimbabwe ? Why he fails to mention this as the cause of reduced life expectancy and not Mugabe is the reason why I take everything I read with a pinch of salt and why I’m sure I will enjoy reading his new book !!

    Some of us Zimbabweans have had the benefit of working out here in the west (indeed 3/4 of my A Level class is here in the UK) and we know that Mugabe is a redundant octogenarian who we can no longer blame for the ills of our country. Many like me are awed by western civilisation BUT above all we realise it is not the hand of Tony Blair or Margaret Thatcher we are witnessing but the collective enterprise of a hardworking and resourceful people. We don’t need a new Messiah or big government we just need to start working for our country and working hard. The Rhodesians gave us the blueprint and they showed what hard work and patriotism can achieve, Mugabe met his end of the bargain and gave us education, freedom and now a real opportunity to participate in the economy, of course the last gift we are waiting for is his departure.

    The point is it is the people who make things happen and I really wish the Zimbabwean agenda was run by us for us as opposed to being hijacked by the media and their obsession with one Bob Mugabe.

    Lift the sanctions and` we will show you what we can do !!

    By the way I work in a London City firm and there are a bunch of us Zimbabweans and not a single black British male (besides Stevie the gold toothed guy who delivers my mail) – had I grown up here as a black male my life chances would have been very different and if I was in America you would be watching me on some Prison documentary…….

    Roger Ndaba
    January 24, 2008
  7. An absolutely worthless racist article.If Mugabe is the problem then
    why is the life expectancy in neighbouring Zambia lower at 33 years ?
    Why is most of Africa dying ? Cecil Rhodes wanted to replace Africans with Europeans and thats what it appears will happen thanks to sanctions and the engineered AIDS virus.

  8. Sadly it is common belief that the rest of the world will eventually come to the aid of Africa. Wake up – smell the roses / however in this case the dung. It will not happen, the spiralling decent of Africa is totally due to the corrupt governments & old Bob is causing the biggest vortex. I once was a citizen of Africa and had the same misconception of an international lifeline. Now in the safety of a first world country I look at the news: – the failing economies – the breakdown in infrastructures – the poverty – unjust relocation of land – reverse Apartheid – corruption & know that nothing can save the beautiful Continent of Africa. Governments have to “act in the best interest of a country” not in the interest of the governors. Sometimes the harsh reality of success is having leadership that is not the “friend” of the nation but rather the enemy. History is the dictator of life and life is dictated by history. While the whites governed countries – economies flourished. Show me any economy or country currently in Africa that is still a viable entity enjoying stability and prosperity. South Africa is now teetering on the cusp of self destruction. Failing primary services of electricity, roadways, transportation, sewerage, water purification are now starting to show cracks with no hope of fixing (not without funding and specialist knowledge). The rapid depreciation of the Rand is testimony of the beginning of the end. Now is the start of the end.
    Everybody will have their own view on Africa’s future – but only history has ensured its dismal outcome. Africa will in the next decade be nothing but a cesspool of corruption and sadly an undesirable place to contemplate visiting. If only it was possible to get races of all colours to unit there would be a chance – however: – lies, bitterness, deceit, mistrust and plain downright human nature will never let such a thing happen.

    The world is now too busy working on Al Gore’s “Global Warming” to give a S*&T about what Bob and Jacob are doing.

  9. the real prejudice here is assumption of prejudice from statement of fact. we live in strange times where truth is uncool or offensive. judgement of any person is inherently racist – so what. their is no assumtion of racial superiority in bil bonners article. —- the truth is the highest principle.the truth will set us all free.

    geoff watt
    March 4, 2008
  10. “Cecil Rhodes wanted to replace Africans with Europeans and thats what it appears will happen thanks to sanctions and the engineered AIDS virus.”

    People should know by know that the HIV virus has been traced back to the early twentieth century in Africa. The same virus that is killing millions of people across the world (not just in Africa).

    It’s time to give up the racist lie that the AIDS virus was ‘engineered’ to kill people. No such thing happened.

    Btw, it is truly a tragedy what is happening in Zimbabwe. However, I can’t help but wonder why the people don’t rise up and remove Rober Mugabe? He’s the worst thing to happen to the country in recorded history. Giving him a pass because he has a few more grams of melanin in his skin than somebody else is one of the most racist (and stupid) things imaginable.


Leave a Reply

Letters will be edited for clarity, punctuation, spelling and length. Abusive or off-topic comments will not be posted. We will not post all comments.
If you would prefer to email the editor, you can do so by sending an email to letters@dailyreckoning.com.au