Home Letter From Zimbabwe The Gods must be angry

The Gods must be angry

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The Gods must be angry
CROP FAILURE: Zim set to declare a drought after a bone dry summer

The effects of El Nino are being experienced across the SADC region but I will personalise it for obvious reasons.

On Monday, the Met Department announced that the rainy season was coming to an end and as such no more substantial rains are expected.

What a big blow for farmers, both commercial and subsistence, who were desperately hoping that the heavens would soon open up and breathe life into the already wilting crops.

Agriculture is the backbone of Zimbabwe’s economy while the bulk of the people, especially in rural areas, practice subsistence farming. But now that there will be little or nothing to harvest for selling or consumption, it means more woes for the already suffering people.

What this also means is that maize, which is Zimbabwe’s staple food, will eventually be in short supply and this will consequently push the price up.

Most people are finding the going tough and had the heavens been kind to us, life would be much easier. But alas, the Gods really seem to be angry as our problems keep mounting.

I know for a fact that most households would rather have mealie meal then struggle with relish – but this time around the struggle to have that sadza (phalitshi) on the table will be a sad reality.

It will be even tougher for folk in the rural areas as they are used to growing their own food. Of course, as expected, the government will declare a drought so that donors can come in with aid but it’s just never enough.

As already indicated, I know most countries also received little rains and will also declare a drought but I feel we are the hardest hit as Zimbos due to the already comatose economy.

A good rainy season and a good harvest would surely have been a welcome development and a feel-good factor but since the rain clouds refuse to gather, it’s just another sad chapter.

On the political arena, the opposition Movement for Democratic Change might be headed for yet another split as the party prepares for its elective congress in May.

The problem with the party is that no-one seems prepared to concede defeat as all candidates for the presidential position always feel they have the right to win.

Already there are three MDC parties due to splits as a result of personal egos and other factors.

If history repeats itself, there will soon be another split, as supporters of President Nelson Chamisa have declared that they don’t recognise anyone challenging the incumbent.

On the other hand, the current Secretary General, Douglas Mwonzora, feels he is better placed to lead the party while his supporters have also made it known that they will not accept defeat.

The two men have a long standing political feud and thus it remains to be seen how the loser will take the outcome of the congress but as already indicated, the formation of another party post the congress is imminent.

It may not be raining in Zim but as far as our politics are concerned, the problems continue to pour!

7 COMMENTS

  1. “Most scientists agree that Arctic weather and climate are changing because of human-caused climate change. Arctic warming is causing changes to sea ice, snow cover, and the extent of permafrost in the Arctic. … The Arctic region gives off more heat to space than it absorbs from outside, which helps cool the planet.”

  2. Corruption in this country has spiralled out of control and the bloc possibly dare not have an organ dealing with this issue like it does not dare want to deal with refugees, displaced people etc.

  3. ” this is what is happening in this dysfunctional country run by dysfunctional people in authority for 37+ years
    Bulawayo residents fear cholera outbreak
    On Mar 13, 2019 24,771 1
    By Tendayi Madhomu
    Bulawayo residents say they are at grave risk of contracting deadly diseases such as cholera and typhoid, unless the government urgently bails out their city council to replace its decrepit sewer and water infrastructure.

    Cholera killed more than 4 000 people in Zimbabwe in late 2008 to early 2009

    This comes as virtually all local authorities in the country are grappling with similarly antiquated sewer and water reticulation equipment, which requires hundreds of millions of dollars to replace.

    It also comes after Harare was last year hit by a deadly cholera outbreak which left dozens of people dead and many others hospitalised, after much of the drinking water in the capital was contaminated by bacteria from raw sewerage in high density suburbs.

    Bulawayo Residents’ Association (Bupra) coordinator Emmanuel Ndlovu told the Daily News yesterday that the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) had been crippled by acute shortages of foreign currency to service its infrastructure — which meant that it required urgent help from the central government.

    “Central government should come in to rescue … what is happening now is just a symptom of the worst that is yet to come in the near future, unless something is done urgently.

    “While we accept that the council is trying its best in light of the prevailing foreign currency shortages, serious challenges have been noted in the areas of refuse collection and burst sewer pipes.

    “It has been noted that the infrastructure is dilapidated, and there is need to totally remove the old piping and replace it with new infrastructure.

    “The council budget … has no allocation for investment in infrastructure … all that we see is maintenance works, repairing and re-painting,” Ndlovu told the Daily News.

    He said burst sewer pipes had become “such an eyesore” in some of the city’s old suburbs — emphasising further that the infrastructure needed to be replaced urgently.

    In the latest BCC minutes, councillors from various wards in the city complained bitterly about burst sewer pipes in their areas, accusing the local authority of taking too long to address the situation.

    “Despite several reports to the relevant department, nothing had been done. To worsen the situation, people doing business around Mashumba beer garden were now relieving themselves in the open because the public nearby toilet was locked,” Ward 8 councillor Ronniah Mudara said.

    Councillor Tinevimbo Maposa also reported that there was almost a total collapse of sewer infrastructure in his ward.

    In September last year, Budiriro and Glen View townships in Harare were rocked by a deadly outbreak of cholera which killed dozens and left more than 100 people needing treatment.

    The cholera outbreak came as the capital city was battling to contain typhoid, which had killed 10 people at the time.

    Zimbabwe was in 2008 hit by a deadly cholera outbreak which killed more than 4 000 people nationwide.

    This was arguably the worst such outbreak in the country in living memory.

    This was blamed on poor public health services and policies, as well as on the country’s dysfunctional water and sanitation infrastructure.

    Cholera is an acute diarrhoeal infection caused by the ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium vibrio cholerae. It is an extremely virulent disease that causes severe diarrhoea.

    It takes between 12 hours and five days for a person to show cholera symptoms after ingesting contaminated food or water. “

  4. The following is shocking and very unacceptable and the big question with the devastating cyclone just having happened how will hospitals cope??? In a place where those in decision making places waste money on luxuries

    “Parirenyatwa hospital nurses washing bandages to re-use on patients’
    18th March 2019 Zimbabwe

    By Robert Tapfumaneyi

    NURSES at Zimbabwe’s foremost medical institution, Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals, have resorted to washing bandages to dress burns on patients as health crisis at the institution deepens, plastic surgeon Doctor Faith Muchemwa revealed last week.

    According to Muchemwa, so dire is the situation that cross infections including, among medical staff has become common.

    “They (nurses) alternate days. They wash them (bandages), they hang them in the bathroom, they use these one today, tomorrow they take those ones which are now dry, they re-use them,” said Muchemwa.

    Muchemwa said in the last two months, patients have been dying due to re-infections and lack of bandages which are made locally and can be acquired easily.

    “Emergency is always our mode, because I am in charge of a team that takes care of the burns unit.

    “Every single day we admit patients. At the moment, in the burns unit, we have no bandages. These bandages are made locally; there are companies in Kwekwe (Midlands town). I can show you pictures. You go to the burns unit they wash bandages,” an emotional Muchemwa told Health Minister Obadiah Moyo during a recent emergency meeting at the hospital.

    “And obviously they are not sterilised. We have seen so much infection in the burns unit because we don’t have any caps to wear.”

    Muchemwa said even health workers are at risk because they do not have access to protective clothing.

    “We are dealing with puss. These are open wounds and we are coming from this patient to the next patient.

    “So there are lots of infections now. Patients are dying more than ever and it’s just hospital acquired infection. The doctors and nurses are also at risk because we are not protected as well from possible infections,” she said.

    “We are operating once every two weeks. As plastic surgeons, our operations sometimes take two hours, sometimes three hours, we operating only two patients.”

    Muchemwa added the hospital has had to turn away patients because of the desperate situation including shortages of basic consumables.

    “We don’t have even betadine (antiseptic) to just clean the wounds. We don’t have pain killers you can imagine. Those nurses, their hearts are so strong and when they are washing the wounds. I just walk out helpless,” the medical doctor said.

    Senior doctors at Parirenyatwa downed tools last week in protest over government failure to provide essentials for their work. Moyo promised he would look into the issue laying the blame on hospital management.”

  5. It is the duty of the media to educate (inform) the public on climate change and how it is being dealt with in the region/continent

  6. This is an extract of an article from the UN Conference in Nairobi Kenya in March 2018
    “Millions die on Sick Earth “But there’s Time to fix it”
    Earth is dangerously sick with millions of people dying each year as enviornmental problems spiral out of control – but there is still time to save the planet, accourding to a UN report.
    Climate Change, the global major extinction of anmals and plants and a human population soaring towards 10billion, make Earth increasingly unhealthy it said.
    It also highlighted degaded land, polutted air, plastics, pesticides and hormone-changing chemicals in the water.
    But there is still “every reason to be hopeful . “There is still time but the window is closing FAST said the report which was released at a UN Conference in Nairobi Kenya said “unsustainable human activities have dedgraded the Earth’s ecosystems, endangering the ecological foundations of society. But it concluded that changes in the way we eat, shop, gather energy and deal with wast could all help Earth-and us- to survive former US National Oceanic and Atmospheric chief Jane Lubchenco said. “The report provides a road map to move beyond DOOM AND GLOOM” and rally TOGETHER to face the challenges and take the future in our hands. This is an all-hands-on-deck-moment”

  7. “Grace Mugabe, Zanu PF bigwigs loot $1million from ZINARA Fund
    By reporter263 March 11, 2019 0 Comments
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    Grace Mugabe received $100 000
    Other donations: $180 000
    Zifa: $340 000
    Mushamukadzi: $26 000
    Robert Mugabe 21st Movement: $26 000
    Zanu PF: $100 000
    Zanu PF (Mashonaland East and West): $71 000

    The Zimbabwe Road Administration (ZINARA) is in the eye of a storm following revelations that more than $1 million was abused under the pretext of being a fund for its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities, the Zim Morning Post can exclusively reveal.

    The revelation comes at a time when the 2014 Zinara Grant Thornton Forensic audit report has been handed over to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Anti-corruption division.

    The full audit report, which this publication has seen, has exposed the rot and corrupt activities done by Zinara from 2014 to 2018.

    Investigations made by the Zim Morning Post in conjunction with the Centre for Investigative journalism in Zimbabwe established that the damning audit report has been kept under wraps by the former Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Development Jorum Gumbo since 2016.

    It had to take the intervention of the Special Anti-Corruption Unit in the Office of the President to retrieve the report.

    “We are also surprised why he (President Emmerson Mnangagwa) is pushing for the investigation because the beneficiaries are mainly from Zanu PF.

    “This is a real test on his fight against corruption,” the source said.

    Ministry sources said the report has not yet been tabled at the ministry as officials are scared because it implicates them.

    Of particular interest is how the CSR fund was abused to fund a few individuals including politicians.

    “The CSR funds were meant to benefit the underprivileged in the society but they were channeled to organisations linked to the political elite and one wonders what criteria was used to choose beneficiaries,” revealed our well-placed source.

    “The officials were protected and there was a systematic obstruction into the investigations into the alleged looting of funds at ZINARA to protect corrupt officials,” said the source.

    “The minister (Gumbo) is alleged to have thwarted investigations by muzzling the board and shielding senior ministry officials and top managers, a development that made him cross lines with the then permanent secretary Machivenyika Mapuranga.”

    The Zim Morning Post has it on good authority that the Special Anti-Corruption Unit in the Office of the President has already instituted investigations and the audit report is in the hands of President Emmerson Mnangagwa who ordered immediate investigations to ascertain how the CSR funds were used.

    The beneficiaries include former president Robert Mugabe who benefited through the funding of his 21st movement and his wife Grace Mugabe who benefited through the funding of her Amai Mugabe Junior School.

    The former first lady’s school was allocated at least $100 000 between 2014 and 2016.

    Zinara also funded the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and other departments from the security forces, which all pocketed an inexplicable $ 70 000.

    “ZANU PF bigwigs have been benefiting from funds meant for the underprivileged and some of them would take their concubines to hotels with ZINARA footing the bills. What type of CSR is that,” questioned our source.

    Indeed, the report states that on March 21 2018 ZINARA paid $35 000 to Rainbow Towers.

    The report also exposes that close to US$180 000 was simply stated as “other donations” without specifying the beneficiaries

    What also raises eyebrows is that only two provinces were beneficiaries of the CSR funds yet the institution is a national body that collects road user charges through toll gates dotted nationwide.

    The report states that only Zanu PF Mashonaland West and Mashonaland East provinces benefited to the tune of $123 000 giving rise to speculation that there was ‘special political interest’ from individuals within the roads adminstrator.

    Despite the chaos that rocked the football fraternity due to lack of funding, the audit report shows that the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) received $340 000 from ZINARA.

    Zifa has had perennial financial woes which has seen the Mighty Warriors receiving poor diet in camp while at one time players were paid a meagre amount of $5.

    ZINARA earns millions of dollars through toll gates and transparency at the body has been of major concern lately with several cases of leakages been reported.

    Mary Chiwenga’s Mushamukadzi Trust reportedly received close to $26 000 between 2014 and 2018.-Morningpost”