Fear of mass protests rises

HARARE - With most Zimbabweans stressing about the country’s dying economy and rising poverty levels, as well as the heightened company closures and job redundancies, more and more observers are predicting the imminent explosion of social unrest and debilitating mass actions.

The latest to envisage more doom and gloom for the country is United Kingdom research company, NKC African Economics (NKC) — a unit of the world famous Oxford Economics think tank.

NKC’s dire prognosis of Zimbabwe’s immediate future comes as local analysts have said the country has hit the depths of humanitarian and economic despair that were last experienced in 2008, when Harare’s seemingly unending political crisis precipitated an economic meltdown of monumental proportions which culminated in the death of the Zimbabwe dollar.

NKC said in its latest report on Zimbabwe that a wave of mass demonstrations and social unrest, spawned by the country’s stuttering economy and high levels of poverty and unemployment — due to decades of misrule by President Robert Mugabe and his ruling Zanu PF — were likely to rock the country soon.

Commenting on the recent Supreme Court ruling which confirmed that employers, just like employees, could terminate the contracts of workers on three months’ notice, NKC said this would further create the conditions for mass demonstrations.

“It is barely conceivable that the Zanu PF government anticipated the consequences of the Supreme Court ruling for close to a month (or perhaps they were too distracted by the opening of Grace Mugabe’s new ice cream factory and the free samples they received).

“Within days of the ruling, dismissed workers were already flooding the streets, yet it took another two weeks and more for any official government reaction — even though the actions had started stirring yet more anger against the regime of President Robert Mugabe,” part of the scathing report reads.

It said further that even if the new legislation that was being put in place prevented further job losses, it was “a little too late” and angry masses were likely to confront Zanu PF and its government, which stood accused of causing the economic rot.

“Already, unions’ protests have been denied permission and prevented by force, adding new stresses to the political environment,” it said.

The reference to Grace’s new ice cream factory is in relation to the launch last week by the controversial First Lady of new dairy products, including ice cream, at a time when most of the country’s companies are reeling under the weight of the economic crisis — a move that courted the ire of the opposition who accused her of being insensitive to the plight of the poor.

MDC spokesperson, Obert Gutu, said Grace’s “extravagant display of wealth in a sea of poverty” was a clear sign that the Zanu PF regime did not give a “hoot” that people were suffering terribly.

NKC weighed in saying with the government seemingly burying its head in the proverbial sand, it was “only a matter of time before something gives in”.

“The Zanu PF regime’s apparent ‘let them eat ice-cream’ attitude, including its belated and empty response to what was an entirely predictable crisis of new job losses merely increases the prospect of heightened political instability in a country with a moribund economy, ruling regime in crisis, ruling party in disarray, unemployment rampant and people increasingly desperate,” it said.

It added that the economy was currently in freefall — and that the clueless government was in “sixes and sevens” about how to stop the malaise.

Analysts have also noted that poverty in the country has increased from 63 percent in 2003 to 76 percent in 2014, with most of Zimbabwe’s population living on less than $2 a day.

Only two days ago. Mugabe’s ally and respected Zanu PF elder, Cephas Msipa, told the Daily News that the country’s deepening political and economic crises -- manifested by the escalating and brutal infighting within Zanu PF and the worsening waves of job redundancies in the country -- would precipitate chaos.

Analysts have said contrary to the government’s heavy propaganda, the Zimbabwe economy is “definitely dying”, as manifested by worsening liquidity challenges, company closures and job losses.

Speaking in interviews with the Daily News recently, the analysts — who laid the blame squarely on Mugabe and his warring Zanu PF for the country’s myriad problems — also lamented the fact that the nonagenarian appeared “completely clueless” about finding solutions to the problems.

“We do not expect the economy to recover in the near term. The recently announced mid-term fiscal policy review statement confirmed our fears that the economy has stalled. We believe that even this forecast (of 1,5 percent growth) is ambitious and expect growth to be negative this year (at -1percent),” Invictus Capital — a securities advisory firm — said, for example, in a recent report.

Afghanistan-based analyst Maxwell Saungweme said unless “something dramatic” happened very soon, Zimbabwe was in fact headed for a political and socio-economic crisis that was worse than that experienced in 2008 when the country recorded one of the worst inflation levels ever reported anywhere in the world, where shop prices were literally changing by the minute.

“In 2008 we had our own currency to play with, though it was valueless, but this time around we have the US dollar which is hard to get for both the cash-strapped government and the people. Unemployment is also currently much, much higher than in 2008 and getting worse.

“Add to all this is the fact that the government is more clueless this time than before, in terms of providing economic reprieve for the people. And donors have also cut back on support to civil society and non-governmental organisations that used to provide life-saving interventions,” said Saungweme.

Renowned economist John Robertson said the situation that currently obtained in the country was already “statistically worse” than that which prevailed in 2008.

“I think we’re back to 2008, and in some cases it is actually worse than 2008. On the employment front, the number of people who are unemployed now is worse than we had in 2008.

“Statistics show that we actually have the same employment figures as we had in 1968, almost 50 years ago. While two million jobs were supposed to be created, we only have about 700 000 people employed, of which half of them are employed by the government,” Robertson said.

Comments (21)

Our dear leaders hands have been stained with blood, their fingers with guilty. Their lips have spoken lies, and their tongue mutters wicked things. They rely on empty arguments and speak lies. Their deeds are evil deeds and acts of violence are in their hands. Their feet rush into sin: they are swift to shed innocent blood, their thoughts are evil thoughts ruin and destruction mark their ways. There is no justice in their paths, they have turned them into crooked roads no one who walks in them will know peace. The wrath of our Lord is upon Zimbabwe because of the leaders that we have

Gushaaz - 21 August 2015

People get ready, indeed things are going to be worse -Since 2013 "landslide" rather "landtheft", the diaspora who used to have interest in coming back by continued investment have since moved and basically told themselves forget about Zim -The average calibre of Zimbabweans running institutions including councils and businesses leave a lot to be desired in terms of ethics and competence..it seems the cream has gone. -Zanu now has absolute unfettered power and no investor can trust the Zanu mafia with their hard earned dollar. -NGO's have since fled and donations more so in view of the harrassement

Tsuro - 21 August 2015

hey we told you long back that zanu pf was/is /shall remain a perenial failure.its time we think of putting this country under judicial management just like most companies are doing and start firing the employees in line with the supreme court judgement in the zuva petroleum matter but we have to start by firing the country's CEO first.and i know everyone knows who the ceo is.homework

farai chauke - 21 August 2015

Kikikikikik maone

tindo - 21 August 2015

Little brains suffocates the bearer. We had this problem solved by the GNU agreement. Idiots couldn't see that any repeat of the previous mistakes of rigging election could bring the same problems and they thought US$ was grown somewhere in the fields of Zimbabwe, hence no need for the international community. (Sic) Cry The Beloved Country.

Ziziharinanyanga - 21 August 2015

UK research Co. NKC. Do we need to listen to foreigners to know what can happen in Zimbabwe if economic situation deteriorates ? NO ! We ourselves know what can happen. But, as I always say, we can only blame ourselves. If our leadership is so stupid that they cannot see this danger and therefore put their heads together for solutions to the country`s man-made (self made) problems then they are exposing the country to outside interference. Look at the Arab countries today. These countries were so stupid to the extent of exposing themselves to outsiders - and today where are they, no more. They are now hell on earth with their nationals butchering each other daily - and the foreigners watching at a distance. IDIOTS ! That kind of thing muss never be allowed to happen in Zimbabwe.

Masamba Akareyo - Tanganda - 21 August 2015

Spot on this is how it should be under the situation in which we are right now but the researchers missed one thing and it is zimbabweans are docile like donkeys and that means no uprising will happen come rain or sun shine I mean nothing will happen and we will soldier on kukiyakiya and madili and drinking sewage water and increase the rate of being the dirtiest in Africa .Who will up rise when our young ones are always thinking of going to SA and Bostwana to be called kwerekweres and to be treated like shiit by police in those countries . Shuwa nyanisi .

Diibulaanyika - 21 August 2015

Iwe editor, Munyika muno hamuna varume vangashinga kuita uprising or protest. Mune vakadzi chete. Kkkkkkk

Chikwadi - 21 August 2015

Guys open ur eyes. Look back where u come from and u may be able to see where u are going. I am commenting while in south africa currently. In 2008 before Tsvangirai helped to revive the economy which was dead Mugabe had gone out of cash to give his state solders. Most of them were making a living by robbing people going and coming from south africa. This was because they were no longer being paid. Why do u think solders will fight against the masses for nothing? Infact I foresee solders turning against police fighting for dimonds first before people do it. This time there will be nobody to robb cos noone is working. If I had any chance to share a table with Mugabe I would tell him to pack and go to China and also tell Chiwenga, Munagwa and Shiri to surrender. Nature is now taking it's course noone can fight against it. They oppres us and they rigged elections but can do it to the economy? Guys out of 14 million people only 700 000 are working and half of them are state workers. This is no longer a country.

dembo - 21 August 2015


JIBHA - 21 August 2015

Viva MDC vivaa!!!! Chinja maitiro. Maitiro chinja!!! Save muriko here? Kwenyai mhuno muri pamuri ipapo. Zanu yaora. Imi munonzi maora asi parwendo tinemi nokuti hamuna kugara maodza nyika yedu. Pamberi nemachinja pasi nemhirizhonga. Shingai kunamata kurwa hakusi kwedu ndekwaMwari. Kutambura kwedu kwazonzwikwa. Mwari mupenyu haati kana mwana akumbira chingwa omupa bwe. Mbuya nehanda havana kufira kuti titambudzwe. Ko sekuru kaguvi, Chitepo naTongogara vakafireiko? Maitiro!!!!!!!!!!---------- Chinja!!!!!!!! Kana zvaramba tichasangana pana 2018 zvokwadi naJehova wehondo kudai.

dembo - 21 August 2015

Is not it amazing that these islands of knowledge are scaling towards coming to Africa under the guise of a globalised economy when everyday we read of refugees from Africa. When these countries come in the form of investments aren't these schemes akin to economic refugees.

John Gwizo - 22 August 2015

Is not it amazing that these islands of knowledge are scaling towards coming to Africa under the guise of a globalised economy when everyday we read of refugees from Africa. When these countries come in the form of investments aren't these schemes akin to economic refugees.

John Gwizo - 22 August 2015

is it fate,curse or greed for African Presidents? Fate-either they are removed violently or coup. Curse- to the extend of making other people suffer for the sack of power. Greed-they rather hold on to power to keep on looting and enriching themselves. at times you regret being an African...Recent election in Bujumbura the president elected for a third term controversially. kkk

chibbs - 22 August 2015


JOHNS NYASHA - 22 August 2015

There are big and very dark storm clouds accumulating on the horizon and I sense something big is about to happen. It is time for some serious thinking.

Swikiro - 22 August 2015

people`s hopes should lie on chamatama coz he z the only one wth a solution 4 zimbabweans. the current regime has failed and has proved that it can only do the worst things one can ever imagine. tsvangirai ndoita wokubereka.

tshayasele - 22 August 2015

vakuru vakati Regai tione kunowira tsvimbo nedohwe...

Nehanda nyakasikana - 22 August 2015

@ tshayasele.. kubereka chematama u will not be doing it for ur on sake. U will be doing it for the sake of the country, our children, our grand children and the future generation. The truth is all those who beating and forcing people to support Mugabe are gaining something from that. Only a few of them the rest are being used. Now lets open our eyes and see, for only 5 yrs Mogern proved that he can share the wealth of Zimbabwe to everyone. There is no hunger under mdc. There is no unemployement under mdc. There is no corruption. Now we are only two years from a nickurve satanic programe just look and see where we are. Everything which mdc built is being demolished. They are fighting for what they did not work for. I am sure this is the last time Save has worked for this bunch of lazy people who sleep on duty causing trouble to the whole nation. Zimbabweans pls don't ever vote for Zanu pf. Don't ever vote for those independence candidates cos it only splits the votes and give dictators advantage of stealing.

dembo - 22 August 2015

Vendors being chased off the streets is a zanu pf strategy to send most people to the rural areas where it's easier to abuse, intimidate and coerce people ahead of the 2018 elections. Zimbos do not listen to those that encourage you to go to the streets because zanu will make that a scapegoat and that will be made the spotlight, and people will get killed for no reason. Zanu pf is now a sinking ship, the infighting, economic meltdown is destroying zanu so better leave it like that. Going to the streets will not change anything, they will use brutal force and in the end blame us for everything. Leave them like that they are dying a natural death. Who are they going to blame, they are running out of money!!! They will kill each other soon!!!

misty - 24 August 2015

uyo anofunga kuti chematama ndiye ega ane solution to the zimbabwe problem is wrong if i may be polite. how is it possible that only one individual has the absolute capacity to solve the problem in a country of nearly 20 million people. as a matter of fact, tsvangison is also part of the problem. he is a handiende type who manipulates the mdc constitution at will just to achieve his personal ambitions. its time for him to be resigned as well if we are to make any head-ways towards solving the zim economic problem. we need true democrats. the mandela type who groom others and leave power at the earliest opportunity than overstaying.

zvirozviyedzwa - 25 August 2015

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