FACT SHEET – THE ZIMBABWEAN CRISIS

Population
1.Estimated population in 2000:  between 12.5 and 13 million
2.Current estimates indicate the population could be as low as 8 million

Economic Collapse

1.he world’s fastest shrinking economy

2.1996 GDP growth of 10%; 200 GDP expected to decline by 12 per cent.

3.GDP shrank by 42% between 1998 and 2006

4.Exports: R 50 billion in 1997, R 9 billion in 2007

5.World’s highest rate of inflation: 20% in 1997 now in excess of 5 000%,  (The Consumer Council of Zimbabwe calculates the rate of inflation for June 2007 as more than 13 000% for an urban family of six). Private sector estimates put inflation at 22 000 per cent in October 2007.

6.World Bank: “The Zimbabwean economic meltdown is the worst outside a

wa zone”

7.Fifth on the World Failed States Index after Somalia, North Korea etc.

8.Zimbabwe ranks last of 130 countries on the Fraser Institute’s Annual Economic Freedom of the World Report.

9.Zimbabwe is ranked 151 out of 177 countries on the United Nations Development Programme’s Human Development Index

10.The Zimbabwe dollar was devalued in August 2006 by 60%, three zeros were removed from the currency and the new official exchange rate to the US$ was set at 250:1.  The parallel market exchange rate has gone up from Z$1 500 in August 2006 to its current (mid-October 2007) rate of about Z$500 000.

11.During October 2007, the parallel market exchange rate for one US$ reached

Z$500 000.

Annual inflation rates in Zimbabwe

Month     Rate

November 2006     1,099%

December 2006     1,281%

January 2007     1,594%

February 2007     1,730%

March 2007     2,200%

April 2007     3,714%

Industrial Sector

1.Industrial productivity is now below 30% of capacity

2.More than 5 000 executives, businessmen and managers have been arrested and fined for defying a government edict in June to slash all prices by around 50%.

3.In 1980 there were 102 diesel locomotive in operation on the National Railways; today there are just 11.

Agricultural Sector

1.Up to 70% of commercial agriculture has been destroyed

2.Large-scale commercial maize (corn) production now accounts for less than 5% of the country’s total maize production.

3.Only an estimated 10% of the country’s winter wheat crop had been planted due to shortages of fuel and fertilizer

4.National cereal production is down 44% on 2006.

5.The maize harvest estimate is 799 000 tonnes (46% down on 2006)

6.2.1 million people (urban and rural) will require food aid from July 2007

7.4.1 million people (urban and rural) will require food aid from January 2008

8.An estimated 150 000 former farm labourers are in need of food aid because they lost their livelihoods following the chaotic and violent take-over of the commercial farms

6.Zimbabwe has been named as one of the Global Hunger Hotspots by the World Food Programme.

Tourism Sector

1.Zimbabwe’s tourism industry was one of the fastest-growing economic sectors in the country with an annual average growth rate of 18.5% (tourist arrivals) from 1989 to 1998.

2.Tourism receipts increased by an average annual growth rate of 25% over the same period. In 1998, the industry was estimated to be employing 180 000 people, both directly and indirectly.

3.Zimbabwe’s revenues from tourism fell from US$700m (£375m) in 1999, to just US$60m in 2004.

Unemployment

1.Over 85% unemployment.  The disruption of the business sector through chaotic price controls will further escalate unemployment levels.

Emigration / Brain Drain / Refugee Crisis

1.75% of Zimbabweans with a job are employed outside their country.

2.25% of all Zimbabweans are in political or economic exile – the biggest proportional mass movement of a population in peacetime ever in

modern history.

3.Brain drain:  In 2005, a study by the Scientific and Industrial Research and Development Centre (SIRDC) reported that close to 500 000 of Zimbabwe’s “professional cream” had left in recent years to work abroad.  However, the study noted that the figure could be a “gross under-estimation” of the real number of Zimbabwean workers in the diaspora.

4.Between 3,5 and 4,5 million Zimbabweans exiles are estimated to be in South Africa where the majority struggle to survive and send money and food home.

5.In July it was estimated that between 3 000 and 4 000 Zimbabweans are crossing into South Africa every day. This represents at least 100 000 people a month, far more than official South African estimates of 20 000 per month. Forced migration is accelerating at present (October 2007).

6.The International Organisation for Migration, which opened an office to assist deported Zimbabwean refugees on the northern side of the border, says the organisation is handling on average 17 000 deportees every month.  It is estimates that more than 86 000 illegal immigrants were forcibly repatriated between January and May this year alone. (It is important to note that the figure of 17 000 per month excludes those refugees who have managed to evade the South African authorities).

7.The Registrar-General’s Office announced recently that the cost of an ordinary Zimbabwean passport has been hiked 29 990% to Z$150 000 from Z$500. A passport processed within 24 hours costs Z$1 million.

Living Standards

1.45% of the population is malnourished, one of the highest rates in the world

2.At the end of 2006, the average minimum wage of Zimbabwean workers was

only 16.6% of the Poverty Datum Line calculated at December 2006 levels

3.Four out of five Zimbabweans now live below the breadline.

Health

1.Official statistics estimate that HIV/AIDS is present in 24.6% of the adult population (2001), putting the country in the top tier of all countries.  That’s close to 1 in 4 people in Zimbabwe living with AIDS.

2.However, HIV infection rates may be as high as 40% given that the population was an estimated 12.5 million in 2000, but more than 5 million Zimbabweans have fled the country.

3.Tuberculosis is common in all developing countries. However, Zimbabwe has a prevalence of over 100 cases per 100 000 population, the highest WHO risk category. In 1980 TB had virtually been eradicated in Zimbabwe.

4.Life expectancy for women is just 34 years

5.Life expectancy for men is just 37 years

6.Zimbabwe now has the highest number of orphans per capita in the world – in excess of 1.6 million.  

7.AIDS-related deaths orphan another 350 children every single day.

8.Two thirds of female-headed households care for orphans and vulnerable children.

9.The healthcare sector is in virtual collapse. Estimated that over 40,000 Zimbabwe Nurses are working outside the country.

10.Number of doctors per 10 000 people:  1 (World Health Organisation statistic 2006)

11.According to health ministry statistics in Zimbabwe, fewer than one in four posts for doctors is occupied

12. Four out of five of the district hospitals that serve rural areas have no doctors

13.Average deaths per week:  3 500.  (This statistic may be much higher as deaths in rural areas are increasingly not reported and people either cannot afford the bus fare to take family members to hospital or see no point in doing so since hospitals and clinics have largely run out of drugs.)

14.British Medical Journal ranks Zimbabwe as worst in the world in terms of Health and placing Zimbabwe at bottom of WHO list of 191 nations.

Human Rights

1.Over 20 000 documented murders by the Zimbabwe government during the Gukurahundi massacres in Matabeleland of the mid 1980s

2.1 in 10 people in Matabeleland over the age of 30 are survivors of torture

3.1 in 10 Zimbabweans now need psychological help

4.Tens of thousands of people of Malawian extraction, mainly farm workers have been forced out of the country

5.Internationally recorded human rights abuses (15 000 in eight years) up by 50% over last year

6.The victimisation of MDC leaders and activists has been ongoing and has intensified since 11 March 2007, with provincial and local activists affiliated to the MDC being specifically targeted. Victims of torture are being detained, denied access to medical attention and access to their lawyers because of their political affiliation and are afraid to seek medical attention for fear of further beatings.

7.By the end of September, as many as 500 MDC members had been seriously beaten up and tortured or, with the number of total individuals exceeding 900, since March 11th 2007.

Operation Murambatsvina

1.Operation Murambatsvina (2005), the government’s ruthless programme to destroy largely informal urban homes and force people into the rural areas rendered more than 700 000 people left homeless or jobless.

2.2.4 million poor people were affected.  (Statistics from UN report)

3.Operation Murambatsvina also resulted in the destruction of at least 32 500 small and micro-businesses across the country, creating a loss of livelihood for more than 96 600 people (mostly women).

Mugabe’s Mansions

1.Located 16 km north of Harare, Mugabe’s 25 en suite bedroom mansion is the size of a medium-sized hotel.

2.Building the mansion has cost in excess of US$ 26 million in a country where most people earn less than the equivalent of eleven dollars a month.

3.More than 2 000 bags of cement meant for the victims of Operation Murambatsvina were diverted to ongoing building operations at the Mugabe mansion.

4.This is the third luxury residence that Mugabe has built and the fifth he has owned since he came to power.

5.In 2003, Mugabe and his wife Grace also took over the magnificent Iron Mask farm in the Mazowe area from elderly white commercial farmers.  The owners were given 48 hours to leave the property after a visit by Grace Mugabe, accompanied by police, soldiers and youth militia.

Environment/wildlife

1.Over 80% of the wildlife on commercial farms and conservancies has been destroyed

2.The total losses of wildlife on private game ranches is estimated to be over 90%, a total of about 560 000 animals.

3.Prior to the so-called land reform programme, there were 15 conservancies. Today there are only two left of any consequence.

4.Poaching is endemic in the national parks.

5.The decimation of the gene pools of wildlife and domestic animals will impact on the country for generations.

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