Zimbabwe cash crisis forces parents to pay school fees in livestock

The crippling cash crisis has turned many ordinary Zimbabweans into masters of survival. Many businesses are now charging for goods in foreign currency or fuel coupons.

But the majority of Zimbabweans don’t have access to forex creating major problems for many because of the severe shortage of local cash.


Our Bulawayo contact Themba Nkosi says some schools, mainly in rural Matabeleland are now accepting livestock, such as cows and goats, as payment for school fees. But the schools are saying they are not demanding that parents pay in livestock. It’s the parents themselves who offer to pay in kind because of the cash problems, Nkosi said.


Zimbabweans cannot access the little salaries they earn in the banks because of a maximum withdrawal limit of ZW$1 000 imposed by banks. If school fees are $200 000 this would mean you would have to go to the bank for more than nine months to come up with the full amount.


Parents are forced to devise alternative methods of survival but there are concerns that this barter exercise can lead to exploitation and corruption. Our Bulawayo contact asked: The problem is also who determines the market value of a cow or goat if the school fee is $200 000 and a cow is maybe $600 000? So who benefits?


Inflation has hit an all time high, and keeps rising, as a result of the economic and political crisis in Zimbabwe. This has created a domino effect that has seen persistent power and water cuts and severe food shortages.


It appeared a window of hope had been opened last week when political rivals signed a power sharing agreement, but the deal is still to be implemented as the Mugabe regime is said to be stalling on the issue of relinquishing key ministries.


In the meantime Zimbabwe continues its steady decline and doctors, teachers and lecturers continue with work boycotts over better working conditions. – SW Radio Africa News Stories

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