Hyperinflation in Zimbabwe was indeed the worst of the 21st century. Why was a country with a good start with money from the British so easily doomed? Today, I’d like to share my findings of how and why the inflation in Zimbabwe started and its history.
An animation about Cecil Rhodes trying to conquer Africa
Africa was long ago known as simply a place where ships could dock, but later as diamonds were found in the territory, many started to invest in diamond mines in Africa. Cecil Rhodes was one of them. With some money supported by Rothschild & Co., he was able to start the famous company De Beers. Later with his ambitious plans, he founded the South African Company, and conquered a big part of Africa which is nowadays Zambia, Zimbabwe, and a part of South Africa. Naming the land Rhodesia, with the monarch as the Queen of Britain and him as the first president of the new colony, the state was partly independent in some ways, and a huge amount of money was invested in Rhodesia. Plus, the land was known to be quite sustainable for crops, enabling many British farmers to mass produce tobacco and many other crops. Later in the 1960s, two movements, one led by Joshua Nkomo called the Zimbabwe African People’s Union or ZAPU, and the other headed by Robert Mugabe, who led the Zimbabwe African National Union, ZANU, had a coup d’etat on the Rhodesian government. ZAPU was supported by China while ZANU was supported by the Soviet Union. As in the 1960s the Cold War was happening, the British made a deal with the ZAPU and ZANU: if the two would have a democratic vote to lead the country and democratically lead Zimbabwe, they would give financial support to Zimbabwe & let the country be free from British control. The deal was confirmed and ZANU eventually won the vote. It seemed like Mugabe was leading the country well, with equal rights for black and white citizens at first.
However, this didn’t go long. Robert Mugabe allied with North Korea after visiting North Korea and meeting Kim Il Sung. He soon started to take away the land of the top 5% of the population, almost all white, in Zimbabwe. “War Veterans,” who were actually ZANU functionaries, violently killed some while the others were having their land taken away. Due to this, the whites fled to Europe and companies led by whites fled overseas. Soon the land became useless, with the black landowners not knowing how to grow crops or having any agricultural technologies. Britain immediately quit supporting the Zimbabwean government financially. Plus, there weren’t any machines to mass produce products in factories, with the whites who owned most companies gone. This caused the decrease of jobs due to the increase of companies(which were mostly owned by whites) fleeing overseas. Eventually, Robert Mugabe became a total dictator and had his army trained by the North Koreans. Then he started massacring anyone who disagreed with his ideas, (especially Joshua Nkomo, his followers, and his security team). Robert Mugabe eventually killed 20,000 followers and soldiers of Joshua Nkomo with the North Korean special forces. He dictated the country for about 40 yrs and was kicked out of the country after a coup d’tat. He later died in Singapore at age 98 in 2019. His wife is still in Singapore to hide from the angry Zimbabweans.
The inflation is still happening in Zimbabwe, and recently, due to COVID-19 it is getting worse. All in all, it is important to know about this terrible hyperinflation and why it happened. Plus, we should know how to prevent this from happening by analyzing the hyperinflation of Zimbabwe. Every inflationary crisis has a reason and is bad for everyone.