Kubatana.net ~ an online community of Zimbabwean activists

Zimbabweans speak out

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Recently we asked Kubatana subscribers to send us some comments on the issues of price controls and service provision in Zimbabwe. We thought you might like to read some of the word out there on the street.

At this point I have had it with everything in this lovely country. Some sanity needs to be restored, what are you going to do with ten jars of Vaseline, 20 bags of chicken pieces. You don’t have power to operate your fridge because surely as the sun sets you will not have power at home to keep your chicken pieces frozen for at least one day if not more. Or water to wash out the stinking freezer. Despite all this madness I am still here, where can I go? I have decided that I will take it one day at a time because this madness must end at some time. In the mean time I have been reduced to a vegan. I hope there will be water and power so that we can try to have some tea during the course of the week. How do I work when there is not power for three full days? I need to survive and pay my bills. The cherry on top of the cake is the rotten unscrupulous landlords who have all decided that rentals in Harare must be based on the US$. 75% of the nation does not even earn US$10.00. I am seething that people should become so selfish and insensitive. But we all seem to have resigned to this unacceptable standard of living. – Miriam

I think price controls are good when the supply side of goods is maintained because sometimes shop owners raise prices of their goods to such high levels that you cannot believe. How can a pair of trousers cost $2 million when the salary of that employee who works in the shop earns $1.5 million. – Clifford

I happen to live in Highlands, regarded as one of the posh places, where we bought a small house in 1979, now I have had 6 weeks of no water but with our neighbours having it. This is the life here. I have made 6 reports and no one has repaired anything. I only survive on begging water from church, neighbours, and sometimes carrying tins from work. Honestly if we fail to have cholera this year we are very lucky. – Liz

I am one of the residents residing in Hatcliffe. The location sometimes goes for two weeks without water and in some areas, they go for a month without water. I don’t want to mention names, but I am part of the victims who get water only once a month. At the end of the month the City of Harare and ZINWA charges are too high. We are buying water for $5000 for a 5 litre container of water from neighbouring schools and farms owned by war vets. The coverage of our area by the public media is biased. Not even a single day has the Herald and ZBC mentioned or reported on the water woes being experienced by the masses in Hatcliffe. When it comes to ZESA its now a daily routine that we wake up without electricity and that everyday around 6 to 9pm we are in darkness. Who is going to come to our rescue? – Patrick

Munyayi asvika pavatezvara kunoroora, making introductions: ava ndibabamunini, ava sekuru, uyu mupurisa watauya naye we price control! – Tatenda

I would like to congratulate you for doing a great job. Saying the truth and fighting the oppressors who will do anything it takes to remain in power. Shop managers in Harare are being haunted by the CIO. A branch manager of a large retail shop in the CBD was beaten (kuitwa kafira mberi chaiko). I wonder if this has anything to do with price control. A friend of mine who works in Borrowdale was abducted at gun point by the CIO but he managed to escape. He is living in fear coz he was promised kuti unorisiya sadza. Workers are not shop owners. Please let the whole world know. We are living in fear. – Grace

One comment to “Zimbabweans speak out”

  1. Comment by …My heart’s in Accra » Borrowed eyes:

    [...] My friends at Kubatana in Zimbabwe are doing their best to document daily life in the wake of price controls that have led many shopkeepers to close business rather than sell goods at a loss. Today’s post offers five stories from Zimbabweans trying to make due in a country where the price of goods keeps rising and the services available keep shrinking. Not a picture, but well worth a look. [...]