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AfricaOpinionZimbabwe

Zimbabwe’s economic situation not promising

By Almot Maqolo

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While the economic situation in the country has stabilized, the peak which it had reached is too high for the majority who cannot afford to buy basic commodities. Despite the introduction of the foreign currency exchange system having ended volatility in the market, the local unit is still worthless as inflation at 800 percent remains too high.

While the introduction of transaction limits on mobile money transfers and the banning of more than one agent line has also ended madness in market, the moves could have come a little late as the local unit has failed to gain against the greenback. The Zimbabwe dollar has held steady at 90 to 1 Us dollar for more than a month now but has not gained more value than that. Before the introduction of the foreign currency exchange auction system, the local unit was fixed at 51 to 1 US$, a rate which failed to end the volatility in the market and spur stability.

Before that, the rate had been fixed at the unrealistic 1:1 which birthed the mayhem in the economy as the black market ran riot. The economic decay is being felt more in urban areas where the majority are finding it difficult to put food on the table with many going to sleep on empty stomachs. The staple sadza has become gold while vegetables are the common relish as the price of meat is beyond reach for many. In many cases the vegetables are just boiled and added salt as cooking oil is hard to come by.

The ravaging Covid-19 has worsened the situation as most economic activities were suspended and many had their livelihoods taken away. Also the informal dollarisation of the economy has also taken a major toll as most people earn the currency while the majority is not employed. Businesses are struggling to secure the scarce foreign currency to source for raw materials, making their products expensive and uncompetitive.

Farmers are finding it difficult to return to the field as inputs are too expensive, making the business unviable. The future of the country is not promising as the economic reforms that the government is implementing will take long to bear fruit while the lives of the citizens are being wasted.


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