I literally struggled to write this week’s column as I was feeling really drained, physically and emotionally. The last couple of days have not been easy, in fact they’ve been some of the most difficult of my life. I lost my father and I’m still coming to terms with the reality that I will never get to see him again. The other reason for my fatigue was the prevailing economic situation, which really sucks the little energy that one has. We tried our best to give my father a decent send off despite the harsh economic climate, which has eroded and continues to erode incomes. My father had his own funeral policy which covered almost all the essentials of a funeral. But it was sad to note that the cash payout of $200 bond which was part of his policy and meant to cover groceries had been reduced to nothing. Early this year, this amount was equivalent to US$200, almost P2, 000 as the US dollar was pegged at 1:1 with the bond. If we were still in that era, we would have bought almost enough food to feed people who came to pay their last respects to my father. But now that things have changed with the economy having taken a turn for the worst, the $200 bond was only enough to buy three kilograms of meat. How pathetic! Such is the mess that we find ourselves in as a nation our savings have become nothing but a joke – a particularly cruel one. We have experienced hyperinflation before and re-living it again seems to be the worst nightmare. People cannot draw up budgets anymore as prices keep changing. The government, in its lack of empathy for its people now increases prices of fuel every week. In turn this pushes up the cost of almost every other goods and services. Incomes on the other hand have remained stagnant. As someone remarked recently, most people are really surviving by the grace of God as putting food on the table is now a mammoth task. And while we continue to suffer, our leaders have the audacity to continue lying and blaming America’s targeted sanctions for the collapse of the economy when the truth of the matter is that mismanagement, corruption and wrong policies are the reason we are in this mess. No wonder the anti-sanctions demonstrations held last Friday were a total flop. People are no fools and President Emmerson Mnangagwa was left with little choice but to address the handful of people who gathered at the national sports stadium. Who would really waste their time to demonstrate over something that doesn’t address bread and butter issues?