Zimbabwe Review

Reflections on Zimbabwe

Suffering in the land : Shades of Zimbabwe

Posted by CM on June 20, 2007

Economic Collapse : More hunger related deaths recorded!!!

The economic collapse is taking its toll on the impoverished population. Commodity prices are skyrocketing on a daily basis, with the government lacking a solution to the economic downtown. Almost all prices have gone 80 percent higher. The country’s import cover has decreased dramatically.

Local businesses have stopped importing goods into the country in protest against the government’s forced“price control” mechanism to tackle the country’s worst economic crisis ever. The importers said they are applying a “wait and see”situation since the country’s business climate “was hostile and unpredictable.” They also lamented the high cost of foreign exchange to order basic commodities such as rice, sugar and cooking oil among others.

There is no indication that things might change for the better. The business community say they want a “liberal economy” where business stakeholders would not be forced to dance to the government’s tune in terms of commodity pricing. The country’s main staple food is out of reach as I filed this report.A bag of the staple grain costs as much as the monthly salary of some civil servants. The average citizen lives below the poverty line mandated by the United Nations. One must hold a senior government position or be hired by an NGO before they could afford a balanced and decent meal. Hunger and malnutrition grip the populace.

Our correspondent has been touring the locality to see first hand about the worsening economic situation in the rural areas.

About 90 percent of rural folks interviewed by the newspaper lamented the government’s inability to end the country’s economic crisis. They said they regretted voting for the leader, who they accused of “downplaying” the current economic crisis with his propaganda. Many village elders are disappointed by the current state of affairs. They have been praying for “God’s divine intervention” to end the growing hunger in the country.

With a few weeks before the rainy season, the impoverished populace arefaced by lack of seeds, farming equipment, shelter, and access to a balanced diet. In one locality, the community complained about starvation and hunger related deaths. They said the country’s economic collapse was taking its toll on the old, the young, the sick and the
low class families. A father of ten kids said the maize which he uses to feed his family is almost about to run out.

The farming community complain about “neglect, marginalization and betrayal of trust.” They accused the president of not fulfilling his past promises to meet their needs and aspirations. Today, the agriculture industry has been ranked as a “failed”sector, like many other departments of state in the country. Farmers said they lacked faith in the current leadership.

For (Anonymous), the president treats citizens with contempt, with his openly divide and rule politics. He said it makes no sense for the local businesses to import goods, only to be dictated to by the government how to sell the goods.

A teacher said the leader was doing disservice to his countrymen and women for failing to admit failure. He says he should consider resigning before many citizens died due to hunger. He said the president should put aside greed and fear of victimization after leaving the presidency and hand over the country to “committed and dedicated” citizens to steer its affairs.

The government is faced by international isolation due to its appalling rights and governance credentials. Many donors have ceased to extend helping hands to the government. They complained about lack of accountability, transparency and the government’s failure to tackle official graft, which observers here say is now institutionalized in the regime.

Many citizens are getting angrier by the minute and the hour. The country is at a cross roads. The economic time bomb is about to explode. Almost, every sector of society in the country is hard hit by economic collapse.

No one here knows what the future holds for the country. Neither the government nor civil society can tell what the future holds. The situation is gloomy and unpredictable.

**********************************

Oh well, the reader thinks, just another anti-Mugabe article, probably by the usual suspects; the British media or the one of various MDC mouthpieces.

Actually, no. This is an article about Gambia! I stumbled across it on the ‘net and was stunned at the parallels with my homeland. In featuring it here I changed names and other references that would have immediately given away the fact that it was not about Zimbabwe.

Frightening and sad, and no consolation at all for the struggling Zimbabwean to know that there are other places going through similar experiences.

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