Vicious cycle of poverty, corruption and insecurity in Zimbabwe

Collen Makumbirofa, Foundation of Reason & Justice
August 07, 2010

Contrary to testimonies of people who have visited the country and mass media reports that Zimbabwe is getting right, people continue to reap poverty and suffering. Between 2002 and 2009 hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans have lost their lives due political murders, starvation and HIV/AIDS.

Right now in Zimbabwe there is serious poverty and suffering. The country is operating without currency. People use US dollars and South African Rand which are scarce notes. Buying goods and groceries in shops is made difficult buy lack of change or coins.

Many towns are sustaining without tape water. Both urban and rural residents rely on borehole water, unprotected wells and rivers. The risks of cholera and other diseases are still present. And there also dangers that some boreholes and wells will run out of water in the midst of summer or shortly before the beginning of the rain season.

Streets are dirty since municipality services are crumbling. The government is bankrupt and local councils have no funding to provide basic cleaning services. Hospitals have no medicines and sufficient doctors and nurses.

Unemployment in Zimbabwe is more than 80% and banks are retrenching workers. Some of the few remaining firms are closing down. Hundreds of thousands have lost hope of finding employment in Zimbabwe.

Many Zimbabweans are surviving on informal selling, gold panning, and on going to neighboring countries such as Botswana, South Africa, and Zambia to look for employment and some to sell items such as clothes, cereals, and artworks.

In some parts of the country there is silence and that silence does not signify peace. People are angry with the current ZANU PF regime. Many people are living in fear of the security agencies, police, soldiers and CIO (secret police). They have witness people being murdered, tortured, raped, mutilated, harassed and arrested for political victimization. So they are afraid of consequences of speaking out against corruption and illegitimacy of the government.

Police and other civil servants in government offices are living on corruption. Their jobs are not paying what is enough for them to survive. So they help themselves by getting bribes from their clients. Majority of police earn living on getting bribes from traffic offenders, criminals and other people who are found on wrong side of the law.

The unity government between the ruling ZANU PF and Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has failed to work. The ZANU PF government of President Robert Mugabe has failed to honor the Global Political Agreement (GPA). The GPA form the basis of the unity government between ZANU PF regime and two factions of the MDC. ZANU PF continues to harass political enemies, arrest reporters, and to commit serious human rights abuses.

Many MDC members of the House of Assembly have been convicted of different offences. Some have lost their posts in House of Assembly as this is the requirement of the law that if a member of the House of Assembly is convicted of an offence and sentenced to more than six month in prison s/he loses the position. So MDC public office holders are being targeted and convicted on trumped up charges. MDC. Tsvangirai no longer retains majority in the House of Assembly.

MDC now has equal voting strength with ZANU PF in Parliament. MDC. T 96 seats, ZANU PF 96 seats. MDC lead by Mutambara has seven. In the senate ZANU PF is leading 56 members. MDC. Tsvangirai with 27 and MDC. Mutambara with 8. ZANU PF has majority in Senate by unfair means. In Senate ZANU PF is composed of 25 elected members, four appointed, Ten provincial governors and 17 chiefs.

There is some hope among some Zimbabweans that the MDC is going to make it and take up control of the country. Now it-s difficult for the MDC to take control of the country. ZANU PF has enjoyed support of SADC and has never been reprimanded for crimes against humanity, rigging elections and flouting the Global Political Agreement. This cast doubts to whether ZANU PF will hand over power to a new government that won presidential elections in 2008 or that it will at least allow free and fair elections to take place in 2011.

For the meantime the struggle for a democratic Zimbabwe and human rights is lost to ZANU PF. This is the worst nightmare for thinking and peace loving Zimbabweans.


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