A Letter From Zimbabwe: Stealing Bread Out Of The Mouths Of Babes

“…over 83% of urban dwellers are not able to buy basic foods like bread, cooking oil and mealie meal. Over 70% are in poverty and 40% in extreme poverty… The majority in poverty are workers… Workers are enslaved and starving…”

Zimbabwe Ranked Among Worst Corrupt Countries In The World. Out of a total 180 countries, Zimbabwe was 160 in 2018.

Give A Loaf To A Stranger

By Cathy Buckle, Letters From Zimbabwe (images and comments have been added and may not reflect the authors views.)

Dear Family and Friends,
In our beautiful wide blue skies of early May, winter warned us she was near and sent a cold wind, grey sky and unexpected rain this week. Temperatures overnight plunged into single digits and during the day into the low teens. Zimbabwe got out her blankets and put on her wooly hats. Half an inch (12mm) of rain gave us a welcome top up of water as we prepare to go into the next six months of dry. On the kopjes the curled clumps of tussock grass which had already dried up, revived briefly and were tinged with a beautiful orange flush and in our gardens the aloes are covered in orange flowers and alive with sunbirds.

Winter 2021 in Zimbabwe looks to again be a time of beauty, hardship and ever more corruption which now seems to be the national pastime. In the past fortnight the latest corruption scandal has been exposed and we have followed it with gritted teeth and clenched knuckles as we slam into potholes, zig zag around gullies, tip sideways on steep eroded road edges and sit at endlessly slow queues at toll gates on the highways. The latest corruption is at ZINARA (Zimbabwe National Road Authority) and was exposed in parliament by the Auditor General’s reports for 2017 and 2019.  ZINARA collects fuel levies, vehicle licence and registration fees and toll gate fees and pays them into a Road Fund which it administers and allocates to road maintenance. After the audit it didn’t take us long to understand why our roads are in such a diabolical state, as if we didn’t know already.

In the 57 page report the irregularities in ZINARA for just two years included how in 2018 each ZINARA board member received a Christmas hamper worth US$9600. (That’s a LOT of money in a country where the average civil servants monthly salary is less than US$200). The Christmas hampers were accounted for by ZINARA as expenditure for ‘office supplies.’ There were two contracts for the supply of graders, the second one wasn’t tendered or even put in writing. To buy the graders ZINARA paid Univern US$17.3 million, an overpayment of US$1.2 million. To maintain the graders ZINARA paid Univern US$5.2 million, an amount not tendered for and not even due because the graders were under warranty. (Veritas “The Road to ruin”)

When the graders arrived in Zimbabwe there were “lavish ceremonies.” A ‘handover’ lunch held at the Rainbow Towers Hotel cost almost US$16 thousand. A second function held at the Holiday Inn with a photo shoot of the graders cost over US$2000. People brought in for these ceremonies were accommodated at the Rainbow Towers and that bill was almost US$12 thousand. The promotional material for grader commissioning cost almost US$23 thousand dollars, equivalent to an average civil servants salary for nine and half years. 57 pages of shame also included stories of gym equipment and hairdo’s, software and non-existent projects; undoubtedly the tip of the ZINARA corruption iceberg funded by all Zimbabweans, by our road levies, licences and toll gate fees.   

A history of looting by any means: In 2012 Zimbabwe became an arctic nation!? “Shock as Zim government buys snow graders for road construction from Univern.”

While the [recent] ZINARA looting was being exposed the ZCTU (Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions) president Peter Mutasa spoke on May Day, his words exposing the huge contrast between the fat cats and ordinary Zimbabweans. Mutasa said:

 “…we took a wrong turn in November 2017 when we supported the coup hoping that there will be progress. We jumped from the frying pan right into the fire and we have no one else to rescue us than ourselves… all our constitutional rights and freedoms are suspended … our hospitals have become death traps  … roads are also in a pathetic condition…. Our transport system is pathetic… people are forced to stand in queues for hours to board the few available ZUPCO buses… over 83% of urban dwellers are not able to buy basic foods like bread, cooking oil and mealie meal. Over 70% are in poverty and 40% in extreme poverty… The majority in poverty are workers whose salaries have been eroded due to *fascist government policies. The set minimum wage is still at ZWL$2500 against a Poverty Datum Line of ZWL$28362 …. farm workers and domestic workers earnings cannot buy a loaf of bread a day for the whole month. …Workers are enslaved and starving…”

[Editors Comment: *Fascist is incorrect. ZANU-PF is a Communist political government system that has abandoned any pretence of a socialist welfare economic system because they know that Western taxpayers will step in with endless foreign aid! Thus, an economy led by psychopaths is based on the altruistic tax-payers of Westerners who altruistically helped destroy a self-sufficient progressive economy run by Rhodesia. NB: A Communist political system, like Communist China, permits zero political dissent, it uses censorship, race wars and persecution (including torture and murder) to maintain the Communist One Party State. Is it any wonder that ZANU-PF serve the CCP as a colony regressing back to the stone age?]

2016: According to Transparency International, Zimbabwe loses more than $1 billion per year to corruption. A report published by the organisations says that Zimbabwean local government officials and police are on the top of the list when it comes to corruption. 

Now, as we prepare for winter, we pull our blankets up, watch the sunbirds sipping on nectar and give a spare loaf of bread to a friend or stranger when we have an extra hundred dollars. It’s always the small things that make such a huge difference and who knows, one day we may walk in their shoes.

There is no charge for this Letter From Zimbabwe but if you would like to donate please visit my website. Until next time, thanks for reading this Letter From Zimbabwe, now in its 21st year, and my books about life in Zimbabwe, a country in waiting, love cathy 7th May  2021. Copyright © Cathy Buckle. http://cathybuckle.co.zw/

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5 Responses

  1. Linde says:

    Social chaos, poverty, crime and corruption are the sistema of a Marxist state. It is designed to be a failed state. Zimbabwe is owned by Communist China – a racist, mongolian communist regime. They don’t even rise to the dignity of a ‘colonial settler’ regime. They just put their ruling corruptos and parasites of the Zimbabwean Communist party in place to oversee the CCP looting operation which is headquartered in BeiJing. ZOG West – the Sickle of the Revolution is totally OK with this, of course.

    The Belt & Road initiative is after the fabulous resources of ancient Zambezia / Rhodesia – the highest grade chrome in the world, alluvial diamonds, rare earth elements needed for the 4IR, the black granite of Mashonaland East which is in the King’s chamber of the Great Pyramid. They are going to traffick that out of Africa on the Belt and Road. The people who live there won’t see any benefits from either the wealth or the infrastructure being built to extract it. Their assignment is the special economic zone shithole / gulag of the CCP. This is the result of Communist Revolutionary assets embedded in high office networking with their Gook armies and ZOG West for a rigged election. It is not a decree of fate.

    The Rhodesian Front could be reforged and not just for Zimbabwe. It might cheer the Zimbabweans to recall that the Rhodesians are the people who got their nation out from under the Empire of the City of London Corporation and placed the government in the service of the entire population. The CCP might look pretty big on the world stage of today, but they are still a mere instrument of the regime that Rhodesia defeated. The insectoids who run it are the Kai Feng branch of the Squid – they teamed up with the African Luo tribal branch of the Squid out of Daar es Salaam where the Communist Revolution against Africa had its high command back in the day. I was told this by a Rhodesian teenager who goes to my parish. With his friends, he writes code that is hacking Belt & Road. They have the Green and White on their laptops. And when we went out for morning tea later with his mother, I said: ‘We’ll just get takeaway and eat it in the park. I don’t collaborate with the QR codes. I am not scanning in.’ One of the guys ( 13 yrs) who was with us said: ‘No. I’ll scan my ap – it will disable their system for a few hours and they won’t have to bother with it’. Rhodesians. They all told me: ‘we think about Rhodesia a lot’. The young Rhodesians listen to 5RR, Warriors of Rhodesia, History of Rhodesia. I think we can form a pretty good idea about where this is going.

    • Katherine Sparkes says:

      Tick plus you are right about all of it. Except for the involvement of Gods Chosen People.

    • Katherine Sparkes says:

      Victoria a state in Australia signed a Belt and Road Initiative with China. The prime minister of Australia Scot Morrison ripped it up. Because he said words to the effect that the deal was against Australias national interests.

  2. Linde says:

    The Liebler Money is on ScoMo – just like the Adelson money was on Trump, just like the Soros money is on Creepy Joe. If you watched Creepy Joe at the G-7 last week, you would have noticed he always wears the same expression. No matter what he is doing or saying (however incoherently) he always has the same expression. Either he is a droid or his adrenalchrome is no longer kicking in for him. If Scott Morrison ripped up Victoria’s Belt & Road with the CCP, I’ll buy a ticket in this Thursday’s Powerball. Dick Ears Dan failed to shlep the Corona Hoax to the satisfaction of his Handlers down in the PRC of Victoria and got himself so on the nose he had to exit down the stairs. Some Very Big Shmucks from the cabal which signs Scotty boy’s paycheck are now running the PRC in Vic which is not called the ‘education state’ for nothing.

    • Caroline says:

      Students come from all over the world to study in Victoria Australia. A lot of them are Indian. India is the biggest democracy in the world.

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