Zimbabwe is raking in millions from it’s tobacco crop. The tobacco is grown by poor farmers. Robert Mugabe and his crime family accomplices keep most if not all the money that comes in. Poor farmers who raise the cash crop of tobacco don’t get cash when they sell their tobacco at auction, they receive only a credit at a bank where they are limited to a withdrawal of $100 but often get only $50. This keeps them poor because they live in a cash only economy where they cannot exchange the bank credits for goods.
The actual mechanism of socialism may vary from time to time and place to place. The final result is always the same. The gang of crooks that run the country get all the profits and live a liavish life of luxury. The gang holds all political power. That enables them to hijack the country’s wealth that is produced by those not luckly enough to be members of the criminal gang.
Zimbabwe tobacco is booming, but farmers growing it are not. Farmer Simon Kahari recently sold tobacco worth more than $6,000 at an auction in Zimbabwe, a small fortune reflecting the golden leaf’s resurgence in this southern African country. Yet because of Zimbabwe’s dire economic problems he ended up sleeping in an auction house toilet that night, hungry and wondering if and when he would be able to access his earnings.
“I don’t have any money for food or anything,” Kahari said. “I came here expecting to be paid, so now I will have to borrow.”
Many of Zimbabwe’s tobacco farmers share the same plight during the ongoing selling season of the crop, Zimbabwe’s second biggest earner after gold. While exported tobacco rakes in hundreds of millions of dollars, small-time farmers feel left out of the lucrative cycle.
A cash shortage that underlines the country’s deepening economic woes has left farmers who travel long distances to auctions unpaid, stranded and desperate.
Farmers like Kahari are not paid in cash because of the currency shortage. But they need the money because much of Zimbabwe, especially rural areas where there is little infrastructure, is a cash-based society.
Instead, their earnings are deposited into accounts that they must open at bank branches at the auction houses. Then the farmers must stick around for weeks, hoping for the daily withdrawal limit of $100 but often getting no more than $50.
Meanwhile, tobacco sales have jumped 30 percent from last year, earning $300 million so far, according to the country’s Tobacco Industry Marketing Board.
So where does all that money go? It goes here: Mugabe shows mansion to world.
Zimbabwe, along with Cuba and Venezuela, is the standard model for socialism. It’s the modern form of slavery. The slaves produce the wealth and the plantation owners live a life of luxury. But hey, it’s equality, man. All (except the ruling gang) are equally miserable.