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Tough times… but we will Prevail!

Sinqobile Tessa
SEEN AS ANTI POOR: Mthuli Ncube

Can the year end already?

The last couple of weeks have been extremely energy draining and I just want 2023 to finish with the hope that the coming year will be better – even though all the signs suggest it will be just as bad.
Thieves recently broke into our fowl run and stole 217 ready-for-slaughter broilers worth US$1, 500 (about P21, 000).
Such a huge loss is a devastating setback for small scale farmers like us, who self-finance the business. We are still trying to get back on our feet but it’s hard in our harsh economic environment.
And sadly no arrests have been made thus far.
While I was still trying to come to terms with the theft, tragedy struck again.
My 10-year-old niece, who was diabetic, passed away last Tuesday. Her blood sugar levels shot up and her two-day admission in hospital didn’t help the situation.
She was failed by our public health system. Zimbabwe hospitals are so ill-equipped that doctors and nurses don’t even see the need to bother about patients.
It is now a fact that once one is admitted in a public hospital, chances of coming out alive are next to none. Unfortunately, families have no choice as private health care is way beyond the reach of most.
Talking of unaffordable things, while it is given that people always look forward to a new year, it appears 2024 will be a very tough one for ordinary Zimbos.
The rains still refuse to come, meaning maize planting is out this season, except for the few who have irrigation systems.
This means that our staple food, maize, will not be readily available in the coming year and we all know what that means.
As if unaware of the already existing challenges for the average men on the street, Finance Minister, Mthuli Ncube last week presented what has been termed his ‘anti poor’ national budget.
So many things will increase ten-fold and so many taxes will be introduced as the government tries to raise money which will only benefit ‘them’.
The much talked about hikes centre around tollgates and passport fees.
Light vehicles will from January 1 pay US$5 toll fees, up from US$2, while ordinary passports were increased from US$120 to US$200.
Such huge increases would be expected when dealing with the local currency yet they affect them in US Dollars, a currency with value.
Meanwhile, Zanu PF has gained the two thirds majority in Parliament after winning seven out of nine contested seats in the December 9 by-election.
The by-elections were triggered by recalls of opposition Members of Parliament by self-styled Secretary General of the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), Sengezo Tshabangu, who is allegedly working in cahoots with Zanu PF.
At the rate at which opposition MPs are being recalled, none will be left in parliament.
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