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Why Emmerson Mnangagwa must resign

24 Oct 2019 at 17:03hrs | Views
President Emmerson Mnangagwa's governing body has proven to be a failure economically, politically and socially. Since his inauguration after the 17th November 'so called coup', the country has realised a drop in all that was left by the late President Robert Mugabe. The Mnangagwa administration is failing to overcome the national economic destruction wreaked on Zimbabwe over three decades under Robert Mugabe. The power-hungry cabinet has brought about ambiguous and experimental policies which have seen a total collapse of the Zimbabwean economy.

Inflation Rate

According to figures from Zimbabwe's statistical agency (ZIMSAT), the inflation rate in Zimbabwe was recorded at 288.50 percent in August 2019.

For ordinary Zimbabweans, the costs of living have once again become unbearable with the price of basic commodities going up each day whilst the wages are stagnant. An average Zimbabwean can hardly afford basic food and families have now resorted to surviving on one meal a day. Furthermore, there has also been an acute shortage of basic goods with shoppers' panic buying in anticipation of the return of the 2008 commodity shortages that left many shops without basic goods.

The government introduced an interim sovereign currency - the Real Time Gross Settlement dollar or Zim-dollar in February this year which quickly fell prey to black market speculation. Furthermore, on his experimental policies, President Mnangagwa decided to ban the official use of the US dollar and other international currencies to promote the Zimbabwe dollar that was abandoned in 2009 because of its dramatic loss in value. "The policies have been implemented ad hoc, latching from one policy step to another without addressing the structural policy impediments," according to Prosper Chitambara, a Harare-based economist. This Law has seen negative feedback with local economists continuing to lash out on this policy. "This is just stupidity reigning supreme" said Eddie Cross, an economist and former opposition Movement for Democratic Change Legal Guru. John Robertson, an independent Harare-based economist said he is not totally convinced if it was an official government position or just a gimmick by the Mnangagwa regime to manipulate the foreign currency to their personal benefit.

The cost of living in Zimbabwe has always been higher than what an average paid worker earns monthly. The Herald newspaper reported that the minimal wage was increased to 1,023 Zimbabwe dollars (about 102 U.S. dollars) per month, up from 582 dollars per month which falls short of the Apex Council's substantive demand of 4,750 Zimbabwe dollars (about 450 U.S. dollars). The civil society is the worst to be affected by this crisis as they can no longer afford to support themselves upon receiving these poor wages. Currently, junior doctors have not reported for work since the 3rd of September, citing that they remain incapacitated by the low wages.

Power Shortages

Zimbabwe is now facing its worst economic crisis in 10 years that has resulted in 18-hour power cuts and some areas spending days without power. To add to the crisis is the increase on the average electricity tariff by 320 percent to ramp up power supplies at a time of daily blackouts but the move will likely anger consumers already grappling with soaring inflation and stagnant wages.

Facilities and Infrastructure Development

There are raising fears of diseases like cholera after the authorities decided to shut down the main water treatment plant because they continue to struggle to raise foreign currency to import water treatment chemicals which requires up to 2.7 million U.S. dollars per month. As services largely collapse, many Harare residents in recent months have found themselves lining up at wells in the middle of the night for water or lighting their homes by candle or mobile phones. This has gone on to affect the health facilities at the hospitals which lack the medical supplies needed to treat patients.

These economic and social pressures should force President Mnangagwa to resign because he has failed to deliver the basic living needs. As it stands millions face hardship as Zimbabwe comes close to a 'meltdown'. Cry beloved Zimbabwe.

Source - Rangarirai Kudakwashe Chivaviro
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