Home Letter From Zimbabwe The fiery seeds of discontent

The fiery seeds of discontent

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The fiery seeds of discontent
EMPTY: Fuel tanks are running dry (Pic – Mail and Guardian)

I cringed (and cursed, much to my husband’s shock!) when I learnt that government is contemplating controlling prices of goods, mostly basic commodities.

The last time such was effected, it was a total disaster. Thus, I concur with those who say the government must back off.

Obviously as consumers we are affected by high costs and would appreciate any price reduction of goods. But when those products disappear from the shelves, then price controls should never be an option!

A few years ago, just before the hyper inflation era, the government set prices of goods and within a matter of days, shops were empty while the black market was awash with things that were no longer found in the shops.

Some things such as bread was no longer produced. For months many people appreciated that truly, man cannot live on bread alone.

So if the comments by the Trade Minister concerning ‘monitoring’ prices is anything to go by, then it will be yet another round of déjà vu.

Of course some goods can now be imported but this doesn’t mean every Jack and Jill can afford to buy things from outside.

Instead of trying to control what is beyond their control, the government, or rather the powers that be, should focus on getting the economy back to its feet so that there is enough foreign currency in the reserve bank for industries to access.

The failure to address these fundamental issues will result in the same problems recurring as is the situation now with regards to fuel.

Just when most thought fuel shortages had been addressed, long winding queues have resurfaced, leaving one to wonder if there will ever be a lasting solution to this problem.

The sad thing is that there seems to be lots of fighting at the top over control of the fuel sector with everyone wanting to line their pockets – fortunately those who fight and control this sector will obviously never find themselves in a fuel queue.

On a different note, the country is experiencing huge, unexplained fires in different places, prompting conspiracy theorists to come up with strange explanations, which is typical of Zimbos anyway as there is always an explanation to everything.

What is also fueling these explanations is that authorities are also not helping the situation as they are not forthcoming with information as to what could be causing the fires.

Major causes of fire, especially in buildings, is mostly electrical faults. In some occasions the situation has been made worse by fuel which is kept indoors, either by those who sell in the black market or for personal use.

In the major fire incident, 32 people were tragically burnt beyond recognition when the bus they were travelling in burst into flames. Word is that one of the passengers was carrying a gas tank which exploded resulting in the fire.

Back to theorists, the most bizarre explanation was that the fires were caused by former president Robert Mugabe’s anger over his ouster a year ago.

Putting the pieces together, they questioned why these fires were causing havoc at a time when the country was marking a year since the coup, talk of people living under Mugabe’s shadow!

7 COMMENTS

  1. The Fuel queues are just continuning like it is normal but very abnormal for a civilised country

    This is the latest article on the soldier who was abducted and refused to testify by this DISGRACEFUL Commission – It is not his fault that he was abducted- This Commission should have allowed the person to testify
    Heads need to roll at SADC for this incident inculding the Chief Executive and questions need to be raised at the regional level why it happened afterall this Commission was not INDEPENDENT and organised by SADC which should have been the case

    “Motlanthe Commission Refused Soldier To Give Testimony On Last Day Of Hearings
    November 30, 2018
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    Own Correspondent|THE wife of a missing retired member of the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) on Wednesday withdrew an application she filed early this week seeking an order compelling Zimbabwean authorities to account for the whereabouts of her husband after he managed to escape from his assailants.

    Piki’s wife Sibongile Sarukato had on Monday filed an urgent habeas corpus application on behalf of her husband Retired Lieutenant Colonel Elliot Piki seeking an order compelling the State to do all things necessary to determine his whereabouts after he was abducted by some unknown assailants on Sunday.

    Sarukato, who was represented by Jeremiah Bamu and Obey Shava of Mbidzo Muchadehama and Makoni Legal Practitioners, who are members of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), asked the High Court to order the setting up of a team of investigators, to work closely and in conjunction with lawyers appointed by ZLHR to search for Retired Lieutenant Colonel Piki at all places within Zimbabwe as may be reasonably practical, and report on such search to the Registrar of the High Court, on every alternate Friday.

    She also wanted the respondents, who included Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister, Defence and War Veterans Minister, State Security Minister, Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) Commissioner-General and the Director-General of the Central Intelligence Organisation to be ordered to inquire from, and where necessary obtain any such information as may be necessary for the investigations from mobile service operators to try and locate Retired Lieutenant Colonel Piki through tracing the mobile numbers that were on his person at the time of his abduction as may be provided by his family.

    But on Wednesday, Sarukato withdrew the application which had been set to be heard by High Court Judge Justice Sylvia Chirawu as the remedy that she was seeking had since been overtaken by events after Piki managed to escape from his abductors somewhere around Mazowe area, Mashonaland Central province and returned to safety.

    Soon after his return to Harare on Tuesday, Piki sought audience with the Commission of Inquiry to go ahead with giving his testimony. However, his request was declined with the officers of the Kgalema Mothlanthe-led probe team indicating that they had completed hearing evidence from all witnesses.

    Source: ZLHR”

  2. ” Drama At UN As Zimbabwe Joins Refuses To Condemn Human Rights Situation in Myanmar
    November 18, 2018
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    UPDATE – Zimbabwe was one of countries which refused as the” UN came together to show unprecedented unity around its condemnation of human rights situation in Myanmar. Resolution has important focus on accountability and crimes against Rohingya. It got 142 yes votes. Compare that to last year’s vote that garnered 122 yes.”

    This just shows that the country is not prepared to deal with human rights issues
    What is the SADC region doing about it or is it they are just sweeping issues like this and other issues under the carpet???

  3. Correction to first comment
    “This is the latest article on the soldier who was abducted and refused to testify by this DISGRACEFUL Commission – It is not his fault that he was abducted- This Commission should have allowed the person to testify
    Heads need to roll at SADC for this incident inculding the Chief Executive and questions need to be raised at the regional level why it happened afterall this Commission was not INDEPENDENT and NOT organised by SADC which should have been the case ”
    It does not come as a surprise with the behaviour of those at SADC after reading about the illtreatment of a REFUGEE

  4. Abucting a person = Kidnapping . Equivalent to using Live ammunition on unarmed protesters.
    In a civilised country someone will be held accountable and face the law

  5. This is the latest article with reference to the SADC Chief Executive Statement in a nutshell she is supporting a Coup and allowing things to happen which should not happen who is giving her the authority to do so?in a nutshell she is supporting those who are responsible for the deaths of UNARMED that were killed by live ammunition .
    It was her duty or someones duty to appoint the commission of Inquiry or the decision of members of the bloc to make the Inquiry totall independent.

    “SADC Throws Chamisa Under The Bus
    December 2, 2018
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    …..FIRSTPAR…

    SADC Executive Secretary Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax has advised the opposition MDC Alliance that President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s legitimacy is indisputable, underscoring that the regional bloc is preparing for Zimbabwe’s Head of State and Government to take over as Chair of its influential Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation.

    President Mnangagwa assumes Chairmanship of the Organ at the 2019 Ordinary Sadc Summit. The Organ is one of the bloc’s foremost structures, mandated with overseeing elections and promoting peace and security, including deployment of Sadc forces.

    Mr Nelson Chamisa’s MDC Alliance on Thursday released a petition to the Parliament of Zimbabwe, Sadc and African Union challenging President Mnangagwa’s legitimacy. President Mnangagwa not only out-polled Mr Chamisa by more than 300 000 votes, he also surpassed the constitutional threshold of 50 percent-plus-one of total ballots cast to be declared the winner without the need of a run-off in the July 2018 Presidential race.

    The MDC Alliance has snubbed the Sadc and AU Election Observer Mission Reports endorsing the elections. Responding to questions from our Harare Bureau after a three-day working visit to Zimbabwe, Dr Tax poured cold water on the petition, saying both the electoral management body and the Constitutional Court had declared President Mnangagwa the winner.

    “In terms of the petition, I have not received the petition. What should be recognised is that Zimbabwe is a sovereign country, Zimbabwe has a Constitution and Zimbabwe is guided by a number of legislations. Our advice is that let those be observed, elections took place, elections were contested, the Constitutional Court also judged. So all those were processes and instruments to ensure that there is democracy,” she said.

    Dr Tax commended President Mnangagwa for promoting political freedoms. She added that Sadc’s prime focus on Zimbabwe was preparing Harare to Chair the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation.

    “You also have to understand that Zimbabwe is our Incoming Chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security. The intention is to make sure that we are doing this work together. We are looking at what are the areas that we are going to focus on and how we can work together with the Incoming Chair.”

    Dr Tax said during her visit, she met Defence and War Veterans Minister Cde Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri and high-ranking Foreign Affairs Ministry officials to knuckle down on the matters that would require President Mnangagwa’s attention when he took over the Organ.

    “We are in the process of identifying, so this is work in progress. Next year and the following year, when Zimbabwe assumes the Chairmanship, we are going to have a number of elections in the region and Zimbabwe is expected to lead the Sadc Election Observer Mission.

    “Again we are going to assume (operational command) of the Standby Force under the African Union. This is an area under peacekeeping and is very critical, so we have to make sure that in the event that we are called to intervene we are ready.

    “The other area is that we need to be prepared and alert to counter terrorism and address cyber-crime. This is work in progress, the institutions are already there and we have to be alert as we move forward and focus on the Chairmanship of Zimbabwe. We have started early because we cannot wait until August 2019 (when the Sadc Ordinary Summit is due).”

    Dr Tax said Sadc was fully behind Zimbabwe’s economic reforms and was encouraging its international co-operating partners to also lend support to Harare and the bloc would continue to call for an end to economic sanctions on Zimbabwe.

    -State Media”

  6. SADC including the Chief Executive must ask themselves question who are they representing the interests of the leaders or the citizens by this statment she does not seem to be representing the interests of the ORDINARY CITIZENS in that the Commission of Inquiry should have been tatally independent and APPOINTED BY SADC

  7. Presumbably it is OK for people who have taken a country by FORCE to CHAIR organs in SADC There are cases where existing DICTATORS AND FORMER DICTACTORS have been allowed to do so IN A CIVILISED WORLD THIS WOULD NOT BE THE CASE

    in another article
    “Business ”
    Bread shortage looms as National Foods to closes down mills
    December 4, 2018 Staff Writer 0 Comments Bread Shortages, Inscor Africa
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    1 MIN READ

    CAKES and bread will be in short supply at Christmas as National Foods, one of the largest food manufacturers in Zimbabwe announced it would be shutting its doors this Wednesday because it had been unable to pay its suppliers due to a crippling shortage of foreign currency.

    In a letter to its “valued customers” the company – jointly owned by Tiger Brands and Innscor Africa, an Harare-listed company – National Foods said it anticipated the mills in Harare and Bulawayo would close on Wednesday.

    It said it would still mill out wheat in process and supply the limited stock it had in hand.

    The company, which has fast foods, maize and flour milling, snacks manufacturing, poultry and edible oils units under its portfolio, blamed foreign currency shortages for the impending closure of its mills.

    Zimbabwe, which abandoned its own currency in 2009 to use a basket of currencies mostly led by the US dollar, is in a serious economic bind – foreign currency, fuel and medical supply shortages are the order of the day.

    “As you are well aware the nation has been facing foreign currency shortages for some time. As a consequence, National Foods has faced difficulties in settling its foreign wheat suppliers,” the firm said in a letter dated 3 December 2018.

    Tiger Brands owns about 37 percent of the company.

    “Our suppliers regret having to take this position but have themselves reached the point where they cannot fund their businesses,” National Foods said.”