“The more things change, the more they remain the same and the more the lives of citizens become tougher. The beginning of a new year is ideally supposed to give citizens a glimmer of hope but not so for Zimbabwe where nothing seems to be working. Natural disasters added agony to the already hard pressed citizenry with areas such as Binga and Luveve (Bulawayo) experiencing floods and flash floods respectively. According to an International Organisation for Migration (IOM) report (IOM Situation report), 215 households were affected by floods in Binga and 33 of these completely destroyed,” ZPP said in its latest report.
“Infrastructure that includes roads and school buildings were destroyed thereby adding hardships to a district that is already ill equipped and under developed (read Section 56: A case of Binga). It is unfortunate that a bridge that links the Chimanimani East community to Biriiri Hospital was destroyed by heavy rains on 12 February.”
The report states that the bridge had initially been swept away by Cyclone Idai in March 2019 and repaired.
“Communities in Zimbabwe seem to be facing one calamity after another. The economy did not show any sign of improvement, if anything, the situation worsened. The parallel market rate of the USD against the local currency, ZWL reached a high of 1:30 at the end of February; triggering price increases with the price of bread increasing from $18.50 to $21. Electricity tariffs also increased from ZWL157 to ZWL186 for the first 200units. These increases are not being backed by corresponding salary adjustments for workers and will only serve to strain citizens even further,” ZPP said. . “The drought continued to be felt across the country in both rural and urban areas. Queues of citizens seeking to purchase mealie meal continued, with the government announcing it would soon adopt a coupon system to ensure that the vulnerable access subsidised mealie meal (video of citizens queuing for mealie meal). The Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Monica Mutsvangwa announced that a data base compilation process was at an advanced stage.”
ZPP said the questions among citizens include how an individual gets registered on the database and whether or not all deserving citizens, even those not affiliated to the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (Zanu PF) will benefit from the subsidy.
ZPP also stated that the Monitory Policy Statement announced by the RBZ (watch video) revealed that 50% of total bank deposits are tied up to about 200 entities in a country of more than 13 million people.
“This could explain the root of the exchange rate manipulation as money is held by just a few. The statement also revealed that the diaspora is still sending remittances with plus or minus US$635 million coming through each year; an indication of how Zimbabwean families are relying on those abroad for sustenance. With such a significant contribution to the national fiscus, enjoyment of the right to vote by those in the diaspora would only be fair; which is not the case under the current Zimbabwean voting system,” said ZPP.
“The RBZ governor also alluded to the fact that the country is on track in its de-dollarisation efforts and would require five years to fully de-dollarise. This however is not in sync with the action of the RBZ who licenced seven Zuva fuel service stations to sell fuel in USD.”