OFFICIALS in Zimbabwe’s stuttering health delivery system yesterday warned of grave consequences to patients on life support in hospitals, as rolling power blackouts mount. Rolling power cuts have roiled Zimbabwe since last month, when the Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) ordered power utility, Zesa Holdings, to shut down the Kariba hydro-electric power plant on the Zambezi River until January.
Government has been accused of ‘stealing’ Christmas by failing to come up with policies that bring cheer to millions of Zimbabweans struggling to make ends meet as the cost of living keeps rising. Some Zimbabweans say they will not be enjoying the festive season with government playing the main role of “The Grinch that stole Christmas”.
A survey revealed that the little that many salvaged during a difficult year would rather be saved for the New Year towards increased school fees, high prices of uniforms and stationery. To compound the situation, the government has also failed to solve rolling power outages that have affected the whole country since the beginning of December.
BULAWAYO motorists have expressed concern over the dilapidated state of roads in and around the city, which have now developed ditches that are causing regular breakdown of vehicles. “This has now become unacceptable, may our city council see that this is fixed. These potholes do not only just need to be filled with soil, but they must be patched up properly. We really need to restore our city to its former glory,” a motorist, Bekithemba Mlauzi, said. The bulk of Zimbabwe’s 90 000km road networks are in a sorry state and needs urgent rehabilitation.
Vehicles are being pulled out of ditches regularly.
Government declared a state of disaster on the country’s roads
A GROUP of Zimbabweans based in South Africa have collectively purchased R3,5 million (AN: =€ 193000) worth of borehole drilling equipment to address perennial water challenges in Matabeleland. The 325 members formed Matabeleland Borehole Drilling Project (MBDP) in October 2020 and they are drawn from Bulawayo, Matabeleland North and Matabeleland South provinces. Each of the members will choose a community to donate a borehole to, after they all get boreholes at their homesteads.
SEWER bursts that have remained unrepaired for 20 years at some homes in Luveve, Bulawayo and forcing residents to live with human waste have prompted councillors to propose relocation of the affected families. In June this year, Luveve residents complained that they had been living with flowing raw sewage in their area for the past 20 years after council failed to repair burst sewage pipes in their yards. There are fears of a possible diarrhoea outbreak in the suburb, which was the epicentre of the 2019 outbreak that killed 13 people and infected over 1 000 others.
WITH general elections now about six months away, Zimbabwe is unlikely to undertake any meaningful reforms that could ensure free, fair and uncontested polls. Critics say the provisions of Electoral Amendment Bill to be debated in 2023 in Parliament are superficial, meant to give an impression that the Zanu PF led government is doing something about reforms before the elections.
ECOBANK Zimbabwe, a member of Africa’s largest bank by geographical reach, wrote: “Do you want to make or receive payments to and from China using RMB or Chinese Yuan? Enquire in our branch or contact your account manager for information.” Quite interesting and another “currency debate” as we enter 2023. “Will a currency clearing deal with China help Zimbabwe?”
GOVERNMENT, through the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), has robbed the state-owned Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) millions of United States dollars by buying five million carats of gems using the depreciating local Zimdollar currency (or RTGS) without fair value in a murky deal, The NewsHawks has been told.
Zimbabwe’s annual inflation is still very high, but the persistent decline in month-on-month inflation in the last three months has also seen annual inflation responding. The Zimbabwe annual inflation rate for November 2022 shaded off 13.8 percentage points to reach 255.0% from 268.8% recorded in October 2022. Having a high inflation has serious implications in terms of poverty alleviation. Food inflation, for example, is one of the key indicators of the ability to control poverty. In October 2022, Zimbabwe’s food inflation was 321%, the highest in the entire world. The driving force behind the high food prices in Zimbabwe was the depreciating local currency induced by too much injection of liquidity into the economy. High food prices push the vulnerable communities into extreme poverty.
The Gukurahundi operation remains a deeply controversial and painful chapter in Zimbabwe’s history, and its legacy continues to be felt in the country today. Recently, three human rights advocates were arrested in Zimbabwe for speaking out about the operation. Thamsanqa Ncube, the Deputy Chairperson of Ibhetshu Likazulu, Melusi Nyathi, a founding member of the same NGO based in Bulawayo, and Samkeliso Tshuma, the founder and director of The Girls Table, an NGO that advocates for the rights of women and girls, were all arrested and charged with “participating in a public gathering” with the intent of promoting violence. The Gukurahundi operation, also known as the “Matabeleland Massacres,” was a series of atrocities committed by the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) against the Ndebele people in the Matabeleland and Midlands regions of Zimbabwe in the 1980s. The operation, which lasted from 1983 to 1987, resulted in the deaths of an estimated 20,000 people, most of whom were unarmed civilians.
DURING the year 2022, State enterprises and parastatals in the country continued their heavy reliance on government funding, while Auditor-General Mildred Chiri’s recent audit reports exposed rampant misuse of public funds. A quick look at the performance of most parastatals in the year 2022 shows that corruption was rife, and the bureaucrats justified their failure to perform citing budgetary constraints, and procurement which requires foreign currency.
Consumers in Zimbabwe were this month selling off household assets to get money for food, a new report showed yesterday, warning of more pain in 2023. The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FewsNet) report, which covers December 2022, showed how difficult it was for many consumers this Christmas, as headwinds continued to defy interventions by policymakers to cool off currency jitters, and fight price hikes.