Bank officials spoken to said that they were yet to receive cash from the central bank before they could start giving people the gazzetted ZW$500 000. Long winding queues were the order of the day as people hoped they would be able to access cash from different banks. Most people had stopped going to the banks for withdrawals because transport was costing them $50 000 a single journey, the same amount they could access from the bank in a day. The RBZ has been pegging withdrawal limits at very low rates making it difficult to carry out any financial transactions. Most retailers are demanding cash for any purchases and patients are being denied access to medication as pharmacies are also demanding cash payments only.
kayi: – Humanitarian organisations are still struggling to meet the demand for food aid in rural areas due to severe food shortages in most parts of the country. Villagers were expecting food aid from Christian Care last month but due to a high demand the organisation was unable to distribute food in Nkayi South. Hungry villagers are so desperate that they have resorted to eating plain green vegetables without sadza, tree leaves and wild fruits. The most commonly eaten tree leaves are those of ihabahaba. People cut the sour leaves and eat them raw. It is alleged that villagers are now consuming the leaves of the wild fruit because the fruit itself is now out of season. Another common wild fruit is umdoro ? a small dry seed that is left to soften in water overnight. The water used to soften the fruit used as a sweet drink.
Bulawayo Agenda is a civil society organisation that deals with advocacy and democracy issues. It is committed to providing a platform for people to express their views and to engage and debate on issues that affect their lives. It has active chapters in Gweru, Gwanda, Plumtree, Victoria Falls, Matopo, Hwange, Binga, Nkayi, Lupane and Tsholotsho.