The fear continues…

The worries about the Zimbabwean elections that are meant to be held in July 2013 still proceed. I do not think that Zimbabweans and  the other countries that are affected by its problems (importing and exporting countries) will be at rest until the final decision is made. Only then will the minds of Zimbabweans and others be able to accept the result and move on with new initiatives, or should I say plans to help the Zimbabwean economy. As of recent, The African Development Bank (an independent bank) said that, due to some areas of the country having too much rain fall and others the opposite, the newly planted grains have been “written off”. Due to this creating food shortage, it has also lead to the escalation of food prices and more and more Zimbabweans relying on food aid. This would mean that more citizens are starving, meaning that they are too weak to do their jobs (if have) to earn money. This is creating a vicious circle that is depleting the Zimbabwean economy even more. Approximately 242 000 tons of staple food is needed in Zimbabwe to keep the citizens/ customers going before there is new harvest.

It is not just the opposing side of Mugabe that are unhappy, but also the people that fall under him. Simba Makoni, a former finance minister under Robert Mugabe is an example of this. He admitted to himself that “the people of Zimbabwe” (including him) basically live on the edge of their seats, implying that they are all in fear everyday. For someone under Mugabes wing to be in fear is surprising, however those whom are not will be in a worse off position. I agree with Mokoni when he stipulates that this fear that everyone is experiencing should be one of the economies main priority to abandon or at least decrease a great amount. Once this fear has been lifted of citizens shoulders, positivity may fall in place and the country may be more at ease. Another down side that should be changed is the dual presidency between Morgan Tsvangirai and Robert Mugabe. When there are two very opinionated leaders, with different intentions in mind, this is when the tension levels escalate and the economy (politics and economics) gets out of hand. Makoni described this dual presidency as “pathetic” and “dismal”. These are rather harsh descriptions, as they have not completely let the country fall apart. However, there must be a reason as to why he said this, as the country as well as the leadership is not where it should be at this present time? The fact that none of the conditionality’s that will enable the free and fair elections has been put in place almost reflects the “dismal” leadership provided by Mugabe and Tsvangirai. No wonder the citizens of Zimbabwe are living in fear daily. Anything could happen.

African countries loaning money to African countries? Advisable?

As we all know by now, Zimbabwe has been struggling financially for quite a while now and has had to use many different currencies in order to stabilize the country and help its people survive. Many international countries have helped Zimbabwe financially over the past few years, but not only from the international community, but also South Africa. South Africa has helped Zimbabwe a great deal, which is surprising, but also very encouraging to see. According to fin24, “South Africa has approved more $100m (R905m) in budgetary support to cash-strapped Zimbabwe, helping plug a gap in its finances ahead of elections expected in the second half of the year, Finance Minister Tendai Biti said on Monday (15 April 2013)”.

 

Biti goes on to say that the South African cabinet has made a decision and feels that it is a “positive” one. Yes, it is a very positive call on Zimbabwe’s behalf, but how about South Africa? Not only the effects on the economy of South Africa but also its people? To be honest, South Africa could do with that extra R905million that they ‘loaned’ to Zimbabwe. South Africa is not as stable as it could or should be. The cabinet of South Africa does not need the consent from its people of the country; however, they should take them into consideration. I personally feel that the needs of South Africa’s should come above anyone else. For instance, there are many homeless, starving and sick citizens across South Africa that could easily be cared for with this lump sum of money. The issues of rape and murder could be decreased with money spent on more hidden cameras or more of the police force patrolling.  These are only a few examples that could be improved in South Africa. This decision that the South African cabinet has made may cause many citizens to get upset. They may turn around and say that they want to pay less tax seeing as the country has enough money to support another country.

 

In saying this, I am also very pleased to see that Zimbabwe will be receiving more funds into the country so that they will be able to hold the planned elections in July 2013. Zimbabwe should in fact get as much funds as possible in order to ensure that the elections do run as smoothly as hoped, with many officials overlooking the procedure, and hopefully minimizing the violence and ability to cheat. Zimbabwe should however not agree to the contract of a “loan” if they may not be able to repay the money to the countries that lent them the funds. This will cause great violence and tension, and Zimbabwe may end up in bigger trouble than it already is. The other problem that Zimbabwe also needs to try and resolve is the fact that the amount of money leaving the country for food imports exceeds the amount coming in. the government should rather leave it up to the private farmers to import and export their goods, rather than the government itself and its revenue.

Butting it out

You may think that this is a topic that has been spoken about one too many times, but I feel that it cannot be spoken about enough as it is still a very big part of society and the business industry, which is keeping many people employed, including my hard-working father… the dreaded tobacco leaf and the addictive nicotine. In other words is could be a win-lose situation. But I am not only concerned about those who do smoke but also those who are innocent, which is what Debbie Thwaits emphasized a great deal.

It was a random night out in the town, as one would say, and after a few drinks, with the music ‘pumping’, lights flashing and everyone in high spirits (excuse the pun), I thought that it would be a “cool thing” to have a drag or two of a friends cigarette. This is only because I was standing there in the smoking section with friends (majority whom smoke), and thought it would be sociable and make me look as if I was doing something. Something triggered that it was wrong and I stopped immediately. The habit of smoking runs in my family including, my grandfather, his daughter (my aunt, Debbie Thwaits), his son (my father) as well as my brother.

Smoking is a common habit of many people all over the world, whether there are strict rules about smoking areas or not. The country that Debbie mentioned which has the most amounts of people smoking is Asia, and in a way, unfortunately, it is increasing. Australia on the other hand has the opposite effect, with the numbers reducing. This is due to how expensive the cigarettes are and the fact that companies are not allowed to advertise it. There are also very limited places in Asia in which smoking is not allowed. To a point I do agree with this, as I am not a smoker and the “second-hand smoke hazards” do affect me, but then again, it is providing many people, especially in Africa (Zimbabwe) with an income, preventing poverty. The Gaurdian.UK reiterated this point by stating that, “After a decade of agricultural turmoil that crashed the economy, this sector is seen as one of the few bright spots. The crop’s value has bounced back from £105m in 2008 to more than £330m this year (2012). Moreover, whereas tobacco production was once dominated by a white elite, now tens of thousands of farmers are black”.

Debbie Thwaits, a Hypnotherapist, said, “South Africa has become a lot more aware of the secondary smoke health hazards and its acceptance is decreasing greatly”. Thank goodness South Africa is not ignoring this issue, because health is just as important as the politics and economics of the country.

I can also see how drastically smoking habits have improved since Debbie’s era of the 1960s. Doctor’s used to smoke in the consulting rooms with their sick patients, and sometimes even tell them “take up smoking, it will help your condition”. Not only in consulting rooms but also in “trains, movies and nearly every place, every room in the house”. My aunty and her lifestyle when she smoked is a prime example of how quickly it can affect you. Debbie started at the age of 14 in the stables in Zimbabwe with my father and uncle, and said to her brothers “I just want to try this”. Everyone always says that and thinks that it will go that way, but it never does.  And what happened… all three of them became addicted from the age of fourteen. As Debbie stated, you have to want to give up smoking. But which teenager wants to give up smoking when it looks “cool”? Finally Debbie gave up in 1995 for five years. She read a book by the name of “Easy way to stop smoking” by Allan Carr.  The 2000 millennium party came, and after a few drinks, same situation as me, she thought she was strong enough to handle one or two puffs. She proved herself wrong and ended up a full-blown smoker again. Sadly, Debbie as well as my family had the trauma of seeing my Grandfather pass away at the age of 67, caused by the dreaded tobacco leaf and nicotine. He got emphysema as well as lung cancer, which eventually spread. In just three weeks after finding out about his cancer, he was not around any longer. It blew everyone away as the pace was so rapid. This was Debbie’s “turning point”, and saw a new light that smoking is a ‘killer’ no matter what people say, such as, “you’re young, enjoy it” and “you only live once”. Precisely, you do only have one life, and it should not be wasted on an illness that you CAN prevent.

As mentioned above, Debbie Thwaits is a Hypnotherapist, and has a business that she runs on her own, “Quit smoking in 60 minutes”. She did this training coarse in Australia (obviously) as she implied that natural therapies are becoming a much bigger industry as people are tired of anti-biotic’s and are moving away from ‘drugs’ as such. Debbie was taught, as well as witnessed that people do in fact smoke to be part of a particular group, and to be “cool”. A cigarette provides “love and connection” for someone as the smoking group all have something in common. Smoking is in someone’s sub-conscious because they feel that they need the ‘love’ with any emotion that they are feeling, therefore, Debbie mentioned the cigarette becomes “your friend”. In order for those who are smoking to go to Debbie, you have to want to give up smoking, so Debbie will be able to align your sub-conscious and conscious, through looking at your daily movements. You can only help yourselves at the end of the day. But some of you may be too far down the wrong road to prevent this harm?

 

Reference:

Debbie Thwaits – (082) 355 1770

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why should people work so hard for themselves for nothing?

It has been known that over the years, Zimbabwe and South Africa have been through a great amount together. South Africa has definitely helped Zimbabwe a great deal, and been there for Mugabe and its people through all the thick and thin, when others were not there. One example of this is with the imports from South Africa to Zimbabwe, such as food, when there was barely anything on the shelves in Zim. Zimbabwe went from there being nothing to many varieties of South African food goods. However, as Malcom Sharara, from News24, states it in the article that Zimbabwe has a love-hate relationship with South Africa. This is because the trade affair is not exactly even.

 

The governor of The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Gideon Gono said that 60% of Zimbabwe’s’ imports are from South Africa. It is not a bad thing that the imports are from South Africa (at least Zimbabwe is helping another African country produce, and not an international country). It is the fact that the products that are being imported are finished and completed. Not even half-heartedly done. I completely agree with Gono not being happy with this, and the fact that it is not going to help the Zimbabwe economy grow, because they are spending more on imports than they are selling as exports.  The people of Zimbabwe are slowly getting unemployed or staying unemployed because there are no available jobs for them, due to the fact that all the products are completed in South Africa. I for one know that this is not because the people in Zimbabwe are incapable of producing the same product; it is because there are no resources in Zimbabwe such as the machinery and raw materials. This is what Gono is trying to put across which is extremely delightful to see that someone in Zimbabwe is actually stating the obvious and trying to sort it out. This is on of the basics that Zimbabwe is lacking and so from here onwards it could hopefully only get better.

 

Trade has increased from $4.6bn in 2011 to $5.9bn in 2012. This is not a bad thing that trade has increased, because this is what is actually help keeps the economies going, and some people satisfied. However what needs to be changed is the fact that more foreign currency is leaving Zimbabwe than is coming in, making it poorer. When the people of South Africa want to invest in Zimbabwe, the problem lies with them trusting the economy and making sure that their money is safe. As soon as there is any failure in Zimbabwe, Mugabe is not afraid to take anyone’s assets away from them in order to help the economy. Not even an explanation is needed. Why should people work so hard for themselves for nothing?

Multi-currency or not?

It was about a decade ago when Zimbabwe went into recession, and the country struggled a great deal with petrol shocks, economic crisis, food shortages and homeless people. The reason for this big problem was because there was such great inflation. The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe carried on printing more and more Zimbabwe dollar notes as soon as they ran out, which created hyperinflation therefore decrease the value of the Zimbabwe dollar. This what lead to Zimbabwe using multi-currencies/ international currencies such as “the United States dollar, Botswana Pula, British pound and South African rand to stem 
hyperinflation that had made the local unit worthless”, said Ndamu Sandu.

One Hundred Trillion Zimbabwe Dollars

One Hundred Trillion Zimbabwe Dollars

When Zimbabwe started using these different currencies, it definitely did help the situation in Zimbabwe a great deal. There were very few or no petrol ques and there was food on the shelves that was imported from South Africa or produced in Zimbabwe. However, this does not mean that the full economic crisis was resolved, as one can see that Zimbabwe is still struggling with the violence and politics that is taking place. And the country does not look nearly as close to how it should look, such as the conditions on the roads, shops, schools, business etc. I have witnessed this with my own eyes. It has been very good for the country and its people to use multi-currencies in order for the country to be more civilized. In saying that, Zimbabwe is seen as an independent country and so I feel that it should and would be advisable for Zimbabwe to have its own currency again. If the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe did what a bank is supposed to do and not just print money because the feel they need to, the Zimbabwe dollar would hopefully stay strong and the economy would work in the way it should, with the people working and bartering with one another so that the economy flows naturally.

With the new constitution of Zimbabwe and the elections that are hopefully going to take place in July, Zimbabwe might bring back their own currency? If so, I feel that it is extremely wise for them to approach the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) for advise on how to go about controlling the hyperinflation and resolving the ‘economic shocks’.  In doing so, Zimbabwe’s economy may improve dramatically, however the central bank must not print notes as soon as they see a shortage. The international community whom has strong economies already must control that this does not take place.

 

New Constitution?

Zimbabwe has finally got a new constitution – what a relief! Both Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai are both very pleased with the result which is a very thrilling to see as it will not cause further drama and violence between the two parties and the citizens of Zimbabwe. Of course Mugabe is very pleased with the new constitution as he feels he still has so much power and is determined that he is going to win the elections. Hopefully with the new referendum being a great success, the elections that are going to be held will be as smooth and violent free as the voting of the constitution. But unfortunately, I do have some doubt that it is not going to go this way. Elections are a much more bigger event and taken very seriously with great tension between the two parties.

With the many citizens that came to vote (much more than expected), should definitely mean that there will be a greater number of voters when it come to the elections in July 2013. As I have said before, the fact that is Mugabe does win these elections, he could rule for another two, five-year terms (10 years), which would make him 99 years old. Weather you believe it is the correct thing for a government to be ruling a country at this age is up to you. However I feel that it is not particularly a good thing for the constitution for Zimbabwe because someone at that age does not have the correct mental stability to be governing. This will ultimately be very detrimental to Zimbabwe as a country and towards its citizens.  I back myself here by looking at how Zimbabwe, well Mugabe needs help from the United Nations (UN) in order to help him run his country. If he was such a good ruler then he should surly not need help of funds and protection?

 

On the other hand if Morgan Tsvangirai makes an extremely positive change to Zimbabwe, and does not let down the majority of the citizens, the fact that the government can rule for a decade is an extremely clever call. One would think that surely the people are now enough of the violence that goes on Zimbabwe, and that they would try prevent it, but there are still some groups of people that are determined to win, and hurt others. Here is the final draft of Zimbabwe’s new constitution that they will have to abide by.