Spare a thought for ordinary Zimbabweans

HARARE - The fact that the crime rate has increased by over 100 percent makes sad reading indeed but it is an indicator of a much bigger problem within Zimbabwe.

A statement recently released by the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) urging people to purchase valuables like groceries and TV sets among others from accredited dealers so as to enable them to follow up in the event of theft is a cause for concern.

The police state that the number of burglaries and theft has been increasing.

Although we abhor crime, these alarming statistics come as no surprise given the current state of our economy.

Analysts estimate the unemployment rate to be hovering over 80 percent and  inspite of the fact that colleges and universities churn out thousands of graduates every year.

It therefore comes as no shock in a country where university graduates have been reduced to vendors.

The liquidity crunch has also forced many out of business as is evidenced by the hundreds of companies that have since closed down.

As if that is not enough, our broke government which is by far the major employer has also been failing to award civil servants salary increments yet the cost of living continues to rise.

MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai last week said Zimbabwe had literally become a country of beggars and vendors. We tend to agree.

We have observed that even those who are employed resort to vending in order to supplement their meagre income.

Every street in our once vibrant cities is now a market place as the economy is being driven by the informal sector.

Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo last week gave a directive to local authorities to remove vendors from the streets as they are compromising health standards.

It therefore comes as no surprise that the crime rate will increase by 100 fold and we shudder to think what will become of this once beautiful southern African nation now that vendors are being driven out.

We call upon President Robert Mugabe and his party to be sensitive to the plight of Zimbabweans and  make good on their electoral promises of growing the economy.

We plead with Mugabe to avail the two million jobs which Zimbabweans were promised in 2013.

As Mugabe celebrates his appointment as the African Union chair as well as his 91st birthday later this month, we pray that he takes a moment to consider the plight of poor Zimbabweans who are making do with a single meal a day.

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