Thursday, January 7, 2010

Economic Collapse?

The saga of Nestlé has been amicably resolved. So says the Zimbabwe Government and Nestle but the problems are probably not yet over. A commentary in today’s Herald goes on and on about ‘illegal sanctions’, the wicked west and uses the Nestlé story as ‘evidence’ of the connivance of the wicked west and the MDC.

In the meantime three stories today suggest we have some serious economic problems looming large. The first is that the Redcliff Municipality has collapsed through unpaid rates and mismanagement of funds. Ziscosteel owes the Municipality millions while the Municipality in turn owes Ziscosteel millions for the supply of water while Ziscosteel owes the Kwekwe Municipality millions for the supply of the same water that it supplies to the Municipality of Redcliff. Other funds that have been paid to the Municipality are ‘missing’ and the municipal ‘workers’ – probably a misnomer – have not been paid for several months. ZESA and TelOne have disconnected supplies to the Municipality due to unpaid bills while companies operating in Redcliff have refused to pay their rates citing ‘viability problems’

The second story is that Zimbabwe’s 90,000 teachers are threatening not to return to work at the beginning of the school term unless the government agrees to pay each and every one of them $600 a month. This will translate to 50% of the Government’s entire monthly tax revenue.

And the third is that workers in the banking sector have won a 30% increases in salary backdated to the third quarter of 2009. The banking sector is already crippled. This will send them to the wall – not all of them but most of them.

How will Zimbabwe move forward, I wonder. All this while farm invasions continue on what is left of the agricultural sector, law and order remains dodgy and freedom of the press and electronic media is nowhere in sight.

Ah well, perhaps the auction today of diamonds from the Maranke fields, stolen by government a year or more ago, will pay all the bills.

No comments: