Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Very High Bus Fares,Poor Services.

Zimbabwe has been shrugged by economic hardships. Once been the jewel and bread basket of Africa,now a beggar.
One really wanders what happened to the jewel that we inherited in 1980. I hasten to share with you along the lines of transport problems.
The economy of Zimbabwe has been traditionaly agrobased.Unfortunately after farm seizure and invasions by bogus war veterans,many people are now service providers and very few producers if any.
Either one starts off by diagonising the transport problems or pathogenesis it to understand what exactly went wrong with our transport services.
A journey from Mutare to Harare is only 264km long and has over the years been covered in three and half hours by public transport. Buses charge exhobitant fares of $220million and have not taken less than 7hours since January 2008.
with due respect readers,allow me to share with you my worst experience onthe roads with public transport.For atleast four times now,i boarded a bus from Mbare to Mutare.On March 21,i got into the bus before six in the morning anticipating to be in Mutare by nine. A bus in which i was travelling had to get loaded before going for fuel queue.Filling stations open at eight in the morning and long distance buses would have queued all night long. When the tank is full the bus leaves for the garage where the tank gets emptied half way.The bus left Harare around 1230hours and reached Mutare at 1700hours.Two weeks ago it had taken me three and half hours and costed $70million from Harare to Mutare.That day , it costed me $220million and took me 11hours.
The problem of hiking busfares willy nilly has also caught up with commuter omnibuses which now charge as much as $30million for 3 to 4killometre distances.
Transport operators argue that diesel is very expensive and scarce so they charge prices that will cushion their businesses.There is no fuel at pump price in Zimbabwe.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Commercial banks a preserve for few

Under what is known as the sunrise three a reserve bank programme, the reserve bank chief gave ultimatum banks to clear off queues.
Some of the regulations passed are good but bar numerous people from opening new accounts and even visiting banks.
Dr Gideon Gono set the maximum withdrawal at ZW$500 million per person and finally got rid of the long queues that have characterised our banks.
Many people now go to the banks once every month because they earn far less than the maximum withdrawal stipulated by the banks.
Others also face problems in trying to open new bank accounts, as they do not meet the bank requirements.
The requirements of opening a new bank account with a commercial bank are a metal Identity card, proof of resident, passport size picture and pay slip in which you earn not less than ZW$750 million.
Other banks such as the commercial Bank of Zimbabwe, CBZ and Stanbic you should be earning ZW$1 billion.
Dr Gono ordered all companies to pay their employers through the banks when most of the workers do not have bank accounts and they cannot open one because of restrictive requirements by the banks.
A teacher recently fumed as he tried to open an account with one of the banks in Mutare, the bank asked the teacher to produce a payslip and the teacher tried to explain to them that he has not yet received his payslip from the Ministry of Education since December 2007.
“At present I don’t know how much I earn because I haven’t received my salary advice from the responsible authorities,” said the teacher who refused to reveal his name to Sakubva News.
A survey carried out by Sakubva News revealed that most of the people seen in banks throughout the month are those who deal in foreign currency and cash barons.
Most workers cannot afford to open bank accounts because they earn far less that $200 million.
Only those who opened bank accounts before these restrictive requirements were passed can afford to go to the banks but only once in a month since what they earn is far less than ZW$500 million.
More that 80% of Mutare residents are either informally employed or unemployed making it difficult for them to open bank accounts or maintain an already existing one.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Tsvangirai lauches election campaign in Mutare

Sakubva Youths sing in praise on Tsvangirai
Sakubva Stadium witnessed the convergence of numerous people from both urban and rural lives on 23 February 2008. People willingly travelled from different places, some from as far as Hwange, Beitbridge, Victoria Falls and Kariba to attend the campaign launch for a harmonised election bringing the total number to at least 25000.
As early as six o’clock, Sakubva was colourful with people streaming into Sakubva Stadium. Some were from the train station, which on that day had looked like a hired vehicle all the way from Harare with people waving open palms, red cards and heavily blowing whistles.
At around 1000hrs the Stadium was flooded, infact it was more than tightly packed that one can hardly estimate the number of people who attended the launch. All one can say is that, even the places that have not been seated before got occupied on this day
People could hardly walk on the terraces as they awaited the coming in of their President who finally was flamboyantly driven to the executive tents. Some who couldn’t manage to get a seat on the terraces made it to the grasslands or playing ground of the Stadium while others had to listen from outside the Stadium.
The executive tents were occupied by the presidium, the national executive members, aspiring candidates for senetorial, parliamental and local authority elections. Under the same roof were invited guests from strategic alliances who delivered their solidarity messages.
In his speech, the MDC president unveiled the MDC manifesto, which he said would be a restart programme. He constantly asked people if they were hungry and angry. His speech touched the hearts of people that they looked like they invested their faith in him. He said he committed himself to leading the people and assured them that he would not betray them. He also thanked the civic society for backing him though they once had differences with his party.
The people that I interviewed said time has come for Mugabe to handover the leadership to Morgan Tsvangirai. However, a number of people were of the opinion that Mugabe wouldn’t accept defeat but will be defeated.
Revolutionary songs were played; bandannas, t-shirts and caps were given to the supporters as many people were in a jovial mood. Meanwhile, Mugabe and cronies were in Beitbridge celebrating 84th birthday of president Mugabe.

Monday, February 4, 2008

ZANU PF and MDC choose their Local Authority Candidates in Mutare

As we are counting down towards nomination court day,8 february 2008,politicians are turning themselves into saints offering what they don"t even have.Candidates from both parties are leaving no stone unraveled.Like a Leopard,which does not change its spots,some say it is their routine habit of making empty promises.
After thorough Campaigns,ZANU PF finally went through its primary elections in all Urban wards on 02 Feb 2008 while the MDC had to successfully follow suit the next day,03 Feb 2008.
There was a browl at Sakubva Beit Hall when Mrs Akino and Tsitsi could not put their eggs in one basket.These were ZANU PF ward 4 primary elections candidates who equally looked desperate for power.When Mrs Akino was announced the winner,Tsitsi wrestled against her until their supporters had to try and save their masters.
In all other wards,peace prevailed at practically possible levels.Both parties conducted their primaries in the same way.Ignoring
Structures that were disturbed by the delimitation of constituencies,voters on primary elections were drawn from the population in that ward targeting those who had the potential of being party supporters.
The electorate is receiving this with mixed feeling, some say candidates were supposed to be chosen by party structures while others hail the idea of involving Jack and Jill in deciding who becomes the first citizen of the ward.However,the majority feels that it is now water under bridge and is now curiously waiting for primaries to choose their aspiring legislators.Those that triumphed are now busy with the vetting process and will begin campaigning after nomination.

Sakubva News giving the people of Mutare a voice

We are Concerned Youth trying to link all people who stay in and around Mutare.We wish to make Manicaland a global Village by making sure that people keep updated on current affairs.
We welcome stories from each and every person who so wishes.
It is our wish to connect the people of Manicaland through investigative journalism and interviwing the people concerned.This enables people to share ideas and create democratic space to break the culture of silence.