Poverty on the rise in Zimbabwe

Poverty is taking its toll on Zimbabweans especially the urbanites. A decent meal is a pipedream for the urbanites as it is becoming difficult to find a dollar per day. Most people in the urban areas are finding it difficult to make ends meet as they are living below less a dollar per day. Just passing through TM supermarket every morning will give a shocking revelation of the poverty levels in Zimbabwe; people stampede to the purchase the 60 cents loaf of bread. This apparently brings to fore the reality that people are unable to purchase the standard loaf that costs 1 dollar. With a stunning revelation by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions that around 300 people are retrenched on weekly basis, this shows that the economy is stagnant and the country is reverting to the 2008 era. With the government mulling retrenching thousands of employees in order to reduce its spending on recurrent expenditure, the situation could be worse as these employees have got dependents. And with the country facing a severe drought it will be difficult for most Zimbabweans to irk a living.

Products might be in shops, but the erosion of consumers’ purchasing power by low income received from work meant that people are going to starve whilst shops are overstocked. Worse to note is that those who are retrenched on daily basis are turning to vending for survival. This means every person in the streets of Harare is a vendor and who, therefore, is going to purchase the products?

Landlords also worsen the situation, instead of reducing rents some are increasing. The government has frozen salary increments in order for her to find fiscal space to assist industries. The same government also, seems to have double standards, because after realizing that the country is facing liquidity problems, the government allowed Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) to increase its tariffs by 6%. The government also increased examination fees which will add to the burden that the people of Zimbabwe have. Quite a number of pupils will fail to register for examination this year because of the economic situation and this falls against the achievement that Zimbabwe had in the education sector.

Comrades, Zimbabwe is sinking in the economic abyss on daily basis and the current administration seems to have no idea on how to kick start the economy They seem to be concerned on petty party issues instead of providing solutions that will steer the economy to greater heights.

Local industries are under threat from cheap imports from South Africa and Brazil. Buses over flock Machipisa bus terminus with products from South Africa. What boggles the mind is that products like yoghurt, eggs, butter nuts, base beds, dragon drink, twizza and jiggies are also imported. This directly increases the liquidity crisis that the country is experiencing as money is siphoned outside the country. The country has virtually no value added product it exports to other countries; the products are exported as raw materials (for example, platinum) which mean the country does not receive a fair share from its resources. Importation of raw materials on its own does not create employment for the locals, but only creates employment for foreigners. For example Marange diamond is said to have created 600,000 jobs in India, diamond polishing can be done by a grade 7 drop out, so there is no reason whatsoever to export raw diamonds.

Pafungeyi Gore: YALF Zimbabwe Coordinator- writing in his own personal capacity.

Written by Pafungey Gore

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