How much blood can you buy for US$13 billion?

Dear Family and Friends,

For the last couple of months high up in the branches of the Musasa trees in and around my garden a Goshawk has been rearing her chick. It’s been a noisy affair that has dominated the area and left most other birds well and truly intimidated and keeping out of sight. Regardless of the wind, rain or fierce lightning storms, the Goshawks haven’t missed a day: whistling, calling and screeching. The youngster has a seemingly insatiable appetite and screeches again and again for more. From one particular Musasa tree with a good vantage the mother and chick have launched their daily attacks, dropping and pouncing on anything that moves. When that same Musasa tree took a direct lightning strike recently and shed all its leaves, suddenly everything changed and the predators became easily visible to all below.

The predator in my garden feels very much like life in Zimbabwe in 2017; we are rapidly returning to the conditions of 2008 but this time we can see clearly and no one is fooled as to who is to blame for the economic crisis. The It’s almost a year ago to the day that President Mugabe admitted in an interview to mark his 92nd birthday that US$13 billion worth of diamond revenue had gone missing. President Mugabe turns 93 in four days time and in the past year, since his damning revelation about the missing US$13 billion, not a single dollar has been found or a single person held to account. It’s like the Musasa tree hit by lightning in my garden: there’s nowhere to hide anymore and no one else to blame: not white Zimbabweans, not farmers, not opposition parties, not sanctions and not the West. Everyone knows why we’ve run out of money and who is to blame.

2017 has started with a serious crisis unfolding in the country’s health sector. Essential drugs for chronic and non-communicable illnesses are in short supply. This is because these drugs are imported and hospitals are unable to access US dollars to import them. Private pharmacies are having the same problems accessing their own US dollars from their own bank accounts to buy stock to resupply their businesses. Strange you say; why are there no US dollars to import critical drugs and yet so many of our leaders were able to access US dollars to spend a month out of the country over Christmas?

The crisis is much bigger than just drugs. Government Doctors have just gone on strike asking for better working conditions and better pay. Imagine being the doctor on call and you only get paid US$1.20 per hour. That’s just downright insulting. You could earn more than that by standing outside the hospital gates and selling bananas. Doctors who embarked on the strike were then told by the Minister of Health that if they didn’t return to work they would be fired. Hmmm, 5-7 years of training to end up being fired for asking for more than $1.20 an hour, that doesn’t make much sense. To put the doctors’ request in context, consider this: an electrician or IT specialist in Zimbabwe charges anywhere between $20 and $30 an hour.

The health sector crisis is not only about drugs and doctors in Zimbabwe it’s about us, the ordinary people. If you don’t have money or medical insurance, which most Zimbabweans don’t have, it’s literally a matter of life and death if you get sick. You have to pay $100 deposit to be admitted to hospital and then you have to buy and/or pay for everything that is needed to save your life: needles, syringes, cannulas, scans, tests, X rays, drugs and blood. Blood is the biggest horror of all:$130 a pint; that’s a death sentence in a country where 90% of people are unemployed. Then you’ve got the consultants fees, the anesthetists fees, the daily hospital bed fees, the oxygen fees and so it goes on and on.

Similar crises are underway in almost all sectors of life in Zimbabwe, in both government and private enterprise with many not knowing how to survive another month. While the economy and country unravels, unbelievably ZBC TV last night flighted an advert calling for donations for President Mugabe’s 93rd birthday party. Organisers are looking for US$2.5 million! That’s enough to buy over 19,230 pints of blood; imagine how many pints of blood you can buy for US$13 billion.

Until next time, thanks for reading, love cathy

Grace Mugabe is not the problem, Zimbabweans are

Post published in: Featured
  • JongweRachembera

    Zimbabwe Pvt Ltd, a country wholly owned by Zanu pf.

  • wilbert

    Not only is Zanu PF starving the nation of the looted wealth but it is now using the looted billions to bankroll its political activities and thus make sure it remains in power to loot even more wealth. I

    t is tempting to say we are caught in a trap and are totally helpless to do anything about it but that will be lying. We are only helpless because we choose to be helpless!

    We had the golden opportunity to end Zanu PF’s strangle hold on the nation peaceful once and once for all – all we had to do was implement the democratic reforms. Not even one reform was implemented in five years of the GNU because MDC had sold out and we, the public, were fast asleep to notice!

    We can still get Zanu PF to accept the implementation of the reforms by making sure the MDC sell-out do not do so again by contesting elections we all know are flawed! If next year’s elections go ahead with no reforms it will be our own fault for doing nothing to stop them!

    Nations get the government the deserve and we certainly deserve this Zanu PF dictatorship complete with its coterie of corrupt and incompetent opposition parties who follow it like the planet Saturn and its many moons! We have done precious little to deserve a good and competent government!

    You tell me one thing we did right to deserve a good government and I will tell you ten we did wrong to deserve this corrupt and tyrannical dictatorship! For every one person you can name who seem to have a working brain I will name ten whose brain has turned into a useless lump of fatty tissue and yet are still in power calling the shots!

    Whatever else one can say about Julius Malema there is no doubt that he hit the nail in the head when he said Mugabe is not fit to govern and we, Zimbabweans, are cowards for failing to stand up to the tyrant and tell him he must go!

    We are paying dearly for our cowardice and laziness!