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Sunday, 7 December 2008

The Elders on Zimbabwe

The Elders released their report on Zimbabwe today (10 pages). The three members of "The Elders" Kofi Annan, Jimmy Carter and Graça Machel carried out an assessment of the humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe on 21-24 November 2008. Unable to travel into Zimbabwe itself, they held meetings over three days in South Africa. The report has been issued on the basis of those discussions. Excerpt on regional implications :

Zimbabwe’s failing economy, the humanitarian disaster and political persecution have already driven an estimated 3-4 million people to leave the country. The SADC region has largely ignored the mass exodus of economic migrants and refused to recognise that a refugee crisis is underway. The failure to acknowledge and name the refugee crisis as such means that service provision to these people is difficult, and many of those who leave risk arrest and deportation. In recent months the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has recorded an average of 10,500 Zimbabweans per month deported from South Africa and around 4,000 from Botswana. Because of the lack of services and their legally uncertain status, most of Zimbabwe’s refugees seek shelter in the poorest parts of their host societies, adding to domestic tensions. Xenophobic attacks against foreigners are not uncommon in South African townships and the recent cholera outbreak has increased hostility.

The Elders urge SADC members to publicly and urgently acknowledge the gravity of the crisis in Zimbabwe and its impact on their own countries. Further deterioration in Zimbabwe will increase the flow of refugees, pose further economic costs on the region and damage the region’s reputation. The Elders believe that it is in the interests of all SADC members that the crisis in Zimbabwe be addressed immediately.


  1. Zimbabwe’s failing economy, the humanitarian disaster and political persecution have already driven an estimated 3-4 million people to leave the country.

    Estimated by the usual suspects. However, for instance an actual study of the presence of Zimbabweans in South Africa put their number at 500,000, not the once mentioned 3 million.

    Quote: The number of Zimbabweans in South Africa is unknown. The South African government claims the number is 3 million and rising. This is almost certainly an exaggeration. Other, more realistic estimates put the number at 500,000.

    South Africa: Policy in the Face of Xenophobia
    By Jonathan Crush
    Southern African Migration Project (SAMP)
    July 2008

    Just more political pressure and exploitation of MDC/BBC/etc. generated propaganda figures.

  2. South Africa: Policy in the Face of Xenophobia
    By Jonathan Crush
    Southern African Migration Project (SAMP)
    July 2008

    The number of Zimbabweans in South Africa is unknown. The South African government claims the number is 3 million and rising. This is almost certainly an exaggeration. Other, more realistic estimates put the number at 500,000.

    ‘Zim to SA migration numbers exaggerated’
    Bulawayo Bureau

    A STUDY conducted in South Africa has revealed that journalists have been grossly exaggerating the number of people migrating from Zimbabwe to the neighbouring country.

    According to a South African Press Association report yesterday, findings of the research by the Forced Migration Studies Programme and Musina Legal Aid were released on Tuesday at Johannesburg’s Witswatersrand University.

    "Recent statements by officials and media reports exaggerated the numbers of Zimbabweans moving across into South Africa or already in the country," reads an excerpt from the report.

    The study said journalists were often hard-pressed to supply figures, but that even the South African government "did not possess a reliable estimate" of how many foreigners were in that country — including Zimbabweans.

    "Although perhaps best encapsulated in the common reference to the provocative image of a Zimbabwean ‘Human Tsunami’, these claims also involved numeric speculation," the report continued.

    Fabricated news reports have been used by sections of the South African media hostile to Harare and the opposition Press in Zimbabwe to stir the South African government into joining the British-led regime change agenda.

    Mr Darshan Vigneswaran, who presented the results of the study, repeated the fact that the concept of Zimbabweans crossing the border to work in South Africa was not new.

    Even before Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980, hundreds of blacks from the then Southern Rhodesia went to work in South Africa’s gold mines, referred to as ‘Wenela’.

    However, Mr Vigneswaran acknowledged that there had been "increased movement’’ in the past few years.

    "Recently this situation has been transformed into a sense of a crisis," he said.

    The researcher attributed this to conflicts with farmers and the intervention of South Africa’s opposition Democratic Alliance in this debate.

    "I think mostly because of the pressure upon many media reporters to attach a number to the quite dynamic phenomena that they witness, we see almost any number given credence in a number of different (media) reports," he said.

    South Africa’s neo-apartheid opposition has been at the forefront of a demonisation campaign against Zimbabwe. The white-dominated opposition was angered by Zimbabwe’s decision to embark on a fast-track land redistribution programme that corrected a racially skewed land ownership pattern.

    The latest report also says there were concerns that the media did not cite sources of figures of people migrating to South Africa. Neither do journalists cross-check the authenticity of such figures.

    While the report gave no indication of what the figures were, it said authorities had been "ramping up their response to informal movement" along South Africa’s border with Zimbabwe. This included increased police and army patrols since December 2006.

    The report’s findings also indicated that there was little evidence to suggest that the informal crossing had led to an increase in crime in the border areas. Neo-apartheid propagandists in South Africa have often attributed that country’s high crime rate to what they claim is an influx of illegal Zimbabwean immigrants.

    The report also cited serious concerns that Zimbabweans who were crossing into South Africa faced "mistreatment" at the hands of smugglers. Mr Vigneswaran is reported to have said there were concerns about the exploitation of migrants, including migrant farm workers, some of whom battled to claim their wages.

    In the past, officials from the relevant government departments of the two countries have held meetings to try and iron out this problem.

    The research followed a review of media reports made between June and August 2007. Two teams of experienced migration researchers went to South Africa’s Limpopo province during the latter half of August.

    The Forced Migration Studies Programme is a non-profit centre for research on migration, aid and social transformation, based at Witwatersrand University.

    From the original report from the Forced Migration Studies Programme at Witwatersrand University:

    " Responding to Zimbabwean Migration in South Africa - Evaluating Options

    2.1 Large numbers

    Much attention has been paid to estimating the number of Zimbabweans currently in South Africa. Most of the commonly quoted statistics, which range from one to three million Zimbabweans, are extrapolated from ungeralisable data (including deportation numbers, border crossing statistics or asylum statistics) or are based on conjecture.3 A likely estimate, based on a range of data sources, is around one million Zimbabweans in South Africa.4 However, accurately establishing the number of Zimbabweans in South Africa, as with all largely undocumented migration flows, is virtually impossible, since even a large scale survey such as the census regularly fails to capture many of the country's migrants. "

  3. MrK,

    Those are interesting reports from the Migration Policy Series, thanks for sharing them. Not surprisingly, The Herald appears to have tried to spin a report repudiating the South African government's exaggeration of its own real problems with immigrants and compensatory down-playing of their own population's extraordinary xenophobia toward foreigners, with claims by The Elders. The Elders do not claim 3 million Zimbabweans are currently in South Africa, they claim 3-4 million people have left Zimbabwe, which in fact is supported by the same documents which Jonathan Crush cites as his source for, "other, more realistic estimates." Mr. Crush seems to prefer the lower end of realistic, while the average appears to be closer to 800,000-1,100,000 actual Zimbabweans living (and not just shopping) in South Africa.

    The other document published this year by the SAMP, Migration Policy Series No. 49, "Gender, Migration and Remittances in Southern Africa," bases much of its information on interviews with members of the home nation household of migrants in addition to the migrants themselves, about 30,000 people in all. It explains that, of the four countries studied, including Swaziland, Mozambique, and Lesotho, "The pattern for Zimbabwe is quite different from that of the other three countries. Migrants from Zimbabwe are more widespread across the region, especially in Botswana, as well as further afield (Table 10). Only one third of Zimbabwean migrants are in South Africa, with close to 40% of both male and female migrants working in countries outside the region. Again, this reflects the higher education and skills levels of Zimbabwean migrants, and is further evidence of the forces driving increasing numbers into the country’s growing global diaspora. " With 4 in 10 migrants leaving the region altogether, only about half of the remaining 6 in 10 are in South Africa, so the claims by The Elders do not seem overly exaggerated to me.

    I agree that it would be nice if South African politicians and journalists stopped muddying the waters by continually quoting inflated statistics that they know are false because the organization that produced them, the Human­ Sciences Research Council, has already publicly admitted that their methodology was flawed. Especially since the impact of highly skilled professional and health care workers from Zimbabwe is overwhelmingly positive for the South African economy and crucial for the Zimbabwean one.

  4. 'Zimbabwe’s failing economy, the humanitarian disaster and political persecution have already driven an estimated 3-4 million people to leave the country.'

    Thanks for this wonderful discussion. I agree with all of you on the fact that the issue of statistics is quite problematic. I think it is not only problematic for Zimbabwe and South Africa, but for most of our countries including Zambia. The credibility is often doubted leading people to feeling more confident in other institutions rather than those whose sole purpose is to generate such information.

    I would like to add two issues here. The first being the fact that the perception that the elders are exagerating statistics is not fairly accurate. Both the quote above and their actual 10 page report do not create the impression that the 3-4 million people have all left for South Africa. Yakima touches the point that some of the people who have left are in other countries such as Botswana, Mozambique even Zambia. So, we should allay the allegation that the 3-4million have all left for South Africa. In fact, the actual report says that 'Zimbabwe’s people are the greatest victims of their government’s mismanagement, but the entire region is paying the price. 3-4 million people have left, primarily for South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique and the UK, while erosion of water and health systems has provoked a potential trans-regional cholera epidemic.'

    The second and perhaps the most important is that the point being made is not about numbers. While numbers add value to the story, the foremost point here is that Zimbabwe has a huge problem and most of the people in that country are suffering. A deplorable political problem is causing a catastrophic economic crisis with terible health implications. And thats where the whole problem is---the numbers are a result and I think the debate now should not be about whether the numbers are right or wrong but about what should be done for Zimbabwe to regain its composure.

  5. Muyatwa,

    'Zimbabwe’s people are the greatest victims of their government’s mismanagement, but the entire region is paying the price. 3-4 million people have left, primarily for South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique and the UK, while erosion of water and health systems has provoked a potential trans-regional cholera epidemic.'

    What I find disingenuous about the report, is that they, like the MDC, blame the economic situation on 'their government's mismanagement', which simply echoes the MDC's propaganda and party line.

    Unless they acknowledge the causative effect of economic and financial sanctions, they are simply pushing MDC propaganda.

    Zimbabwe has been under extensive financial and economic sanctions since at least 2002, when the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001 came into effect. This acts bans most of the world's multilateral financing institutions from extending loans, rescheduling debt or any other financial support to the government of Zimbabwe.

    I quote from the Zimbabwe Democracy and Econmic Recovery Act of 2001, named 'Multilateral Financing Restriction', which list the number of international financial institutions which are banned from providing loans and financing for the government,

    (c) MULTILATERAL FINANCING RESTRICTION- Until the President makes the certification described in subsection (d), and except as may be required to meet basic human needs or for good governance, the Secretary of the Treasury shall instruct the United States executive director to each international financial institution to oppose and vote against--

    (1) any extension by the respective institution of any loan, credit, or guarantee to the Government of Zimbabwe; or

    (2) any cancellation or reduction of indebtedness owed by the Government of Zimbabwe to the United States or any international financial institution.


    In this Act:

    (1) INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS- The term `international financial institutions' means the multilateral development banks and the International Monetary Fund.

    (2) MULTILATERAL DEVELOPMENT BANKS- The term `multilateral development banks' means the
    International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the
    International Development Association, the
    International Finance Corporation, the
    Inter-American Development Bank, the
    Asian Development Bank, the
    Inter-American Investment Corporation, the
    African Development Bank, the
    African Development Fund, the
    European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the
    Multilateral Investment Guaranty Agency

    Maybe one day the BBC will report on this act and it's effects on the economy of Zimbabwe, instead of holding president Mugabe 'personally responsible' for their own criminal actions against the state and people of Zimbabwe.

    By the way, I take on board that The Elderly did not say 3-4 million Zimbabweans have fled to South Africa alone. However, they would be the largest recipients of refugees - and if there are 500,000 Zimbabweans in South Africa, where are the other 2.5 million to 3.5 million located.

    It is too easy to throw large numbers around, especially when there is no real basis for it. And when all good news about Zimbabwe is spun into bad news, and bad news is blown sky high - for the purpose of setting people up for an illegal and very bloody military invasion of the country.

    They lied about Iraq, and they are lying about Zimbabwe too.

  6. If the link to the Zimbabwe Democracy and Econmic Recovery Act of 2001 (ZDERA) doesn't work, please try this one.

  7. I find it amazing that some people are more concerned to query the accuracy of refugee figures than about what is happening in Zimbabwe. And to blame the country's problems on sanctions which block international loans is totally unrealistic. Are sanctions responsible for Zim's fantastic inflation, for the stolen election and for Mugabe's barbaric suppression of the regime's opponents?

    Here is a message just received from a friend in Zimbabwe.

    "Jestina Mukoko was abducted from her home at 5am on the 3rd of December 2008 by 15 armed men. She was taken away wearing just her nightdress.. Her teenage son, who witnessed the abduction, raised the alarm. Jestina is still missing today and there is growing concern for her safety and well-being. Frantic efforts by lawyers and civil society have yielded no information on Jestina’s whereabouts.
    It is believed that state agents are behind the abduction of Jestina Mukoko as well as the recent abductions of several other political and human rights activists in Zimbabwe.
    Jestina’s abduction is the most high profile abduction to date because of her prominent role as a leading human rights activist. Fifteen people, who are less well known to the world but very important to all Zimbabweans, were abducted at the end of October and all of them are still missing. The extreme callousness of the regime is clearly revealed by the fact that a two year old child was abducted along with its parents. No one has been brought to court. These fifteen people have been missing for over 36 days now.
    Let’s send a clear message that these sort of horrific activities carried out by the Zanu PF Junta have to be stopped. Let’s join forces and fight for all the people who have risked so much to fight for us and for a peaceful democratic future for Zimbabwe."

  8. MrK,

    It is true that definitive numbers on migrants who cross borders and live in other countries without documentation are impossible to obtain for the simple reason that such people are actively avoiding being counted. This is one reason why interviewing the families which they left behind in their country of origin is so useful, because if anyone knows where they are, it is likely to be their loved ones. The Southern African Migration Project (SAMP) conducted just such a study, published earlier this year, included in Migration Policy Series No. 49, "Gender, Migration and Remittances in Southern Africa."

    Migrants, both internal and external, from Lesotho, Mozambique, Swaziland and Zimbabwe were included, and of 4,000 people, less than one tenth of one percent had families who claimed not to know their location. Of the Zimbabwean interviews, 32.6% of males and 32.7% of females (unlike other migrant populations in the region which are 80-90% male, Zimbabwean migrants are only 55% male), are internal migrants within Zimbabwe. External migrants are reportedly split between South Africa, 19.3% of males and 16.4% of females, and other countries, 48.1% of males and 50.7% of females. Standard deviation is not listed for these stats, but given the sample size is likely rather low, my guess would be in the +/- 2 to 4% range. For simplicity it is fairly safe to say the split is roughly 30-20-50, though that may slightly overweight S. African numbers.

    If we accept that the low end estimate is correct, and there are approx. 500,000 migrants from Zimbabwe living in S. A., then approx. 750,000 are internal migrants, and another 1,250,000 are in other countries. Middle estimates for migrants in S. A. put the number at 800,000, in which case the internal migrant population is approx. 1,200,000, and the number in other countries is approx. 2,000,000 persons. Using the number from your second source, "3 A likely estimate, based on a range of data sources, is around one million Zimbabweans in South Africa," then we get 1,500,000 internal migrants and 2,500,000 persons in other countries. Using the high end of reliable estimates, 1,200,000 in S.A., 1,800,000 internal migrants, and 3,000,000 in other countries. This gives us a range of total external migrants from 1.75 million to 4.2 million, with most reliable estimates bell curved within the 2.8 - 3.5 million person range.

    There is also strong evidence for claims of acceleration in the pace of migration out of Zimbabwe, with 92% having less than 10 years of experience living outside of their country of origin, and 72% having less than 5. This can be contrasted with numbers for Mozambique (63% with less than 10 years, 33% with less than 5 years), Lesotho (49% with less than 10 years, 36% with less than 5 years), and Swaziland (52% with less than 10 years, 27% with less than 5 years). It may also be worth noting that while female migrants from other countries tend to have far less experience than their male counterparts, the numbers for men and women from Zimbabwe are almost identical. People are leaving, in relatively large numbers, and it is foolish for governments to either inflate or deny the problem, mass migration is difficult enough to cope with as it is.

    I don't swallow any story about government achievements or failures from a government controlled source without chewing first, and The Herald is no exception. In my experience they choose only those numbers which suit their political agenda, and often wind up using them in specious ways. So do opposition media sources from around the region, so I try to stick with what can be digested with conflation of sources, a balanced diet if you will. To say that there is corruption and need for reform in an African government should come as no surprise to any of us. It is similarly reasonable to suppose that a country suffering from inflation in excess of 231 million percent per annum is exerting extraordinary stress on civil servants, with resulting higher incidence of executed potential for fraud. It is not reasonable to believe, however damaging they have been and continue to be, that if the borrowing restrictions on the Zimbabwean government were to be lifted tomorrow, that the present economic policy and regulatory regime would then be effective at lifting the nation out of poverty.

    Other numbers from the report also help to illustrate the nature of current migration from Zimbabwe, and point to areas of economic collapse which need to be addressed by whatever effective government eventually emerges from the political process. For example, the educational status of migrants from Zimbabwe is extraordinarily high when contrasted with other regional migrant populations, for males, 4.4% have postgraduate degrees, 22.7% have degrees, 29% have diplomas, 41% have had secondary schooling, and only 2.5% have only primary or no schooling. Contrasted with males from Mozambique, with the lowest educational attainment in the sample, where 0.0% have either degrees or diplomas, 15.4% secondary school, 71.7% primary, and 7.5% none at all. Swazi males were second highest, with 0.1% postgraduate, 1.1% degree, 2.8% diploma, 41.8% secondary, 38.6% primary, and 13.7% none at all. Numbers for females are similar, however sample sizes for other countries are relatively small.

    Zimbabwean migrants in S.A., according to SAMP, have been taking jobs corresponding to their skill sets, and top employment areas for men are professional (18.5%), trader/hawker/vendor (10.3%), and service work (8.9%). Significant portions are teachers (6.4%), health workers (6.4%), skilled manual labour (5.8%), self-employed business (5.4%), office workers (5.2%), mineworkers (5.0%), and managerial office workers (4.7%). Relatively few are doing unskilled manual labour (2.1%), agricultural work (0.6%), or the informal sector (3.3%). Relatively high numbers are foremen (1.0%), police (0.8%), employers (1.7%), or scholars/students (1.6%).

    Top employment areas for Zimbabwean women in S.A. are trader/hawker/vendor (22.0%), health care (16.5%), professional (10.1%), and service worker (9.9%). Significant portions are teachers (7.1%), office workers (4.5%), domestic workers (4.0%), or informal sector producers (6.4%). Relatively low numbers are doing unskilled manual labour (1.9%), skilled manual labour (3.1%), or are in self-employed businesses (2.6%). Relatively high numbers are office managers (1.9%), foremen (0.2%), students/scholars (0.9%), and employers (0.5%).

    This is a testament to what the Zimbabwean education system was able to achieve in the 80's and 90's, however by all accounts the school system is in near collapse, and O-level diploma rates are down under 20% from their highs above 80% a decade ago. Employment of so many Zimbabweans in fields requiring experience such as teachers and health care workers in other countries does not bode well for the recovery of education without some means of attracting most of these persons back to their origins. The drain on other professions and entrepreneurs appears to be equally great, and the continued absence of these persons will have to be accounted for in estimates of the Zimbabwean economy's ability to recover.

    I find the tendency of ZANU-PF controlled media such as The Herald to label anyone who tells them something they don't want to hear as a CIA operative tiresome. Cholera doesn't care about governments or borders, it is already entering the Limpopo watershed, and the origin of the vector is clear. If the CIA will actually fund a mission to stop it as cover for something they'd probably be doing anyway, well at least the people of Mozambique, Swaziland and South Africa should be grateful. If they let is lots of humanitarian NGO's and let them handle their own funding and operations without interference, the percentage of CIA agents and foreign operatives hiding in any given aid mission would drop dramatically, and most efforts would manned be entirely by well-meaning people without international political agendas beyond universal goals such as eradicating cholera or delivering HIV/AIDS medications.

    Countries spy on each other, even engage in covert hostilities, most manage to keep it out of the everyday lives of civilians aside from the occasional spectacular incident. If millions of Zimbabwean civilians can cross these borders at will, so can trained spies. Zimbabwe has no shortage of unemployed persons willing to provide information to trained spies who never bother entering Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe is going to be a sieve for as long as its economy is a shambles, and harassing aid delivery is not going to help. The Elders may say some embarrassing or exaggerated or even misinformed things about Zimbabwe, but in exchange for letting them say it, they will leverage relatively enormous amounts of real, deliverable aid to millions on the ground who need external help badly before they will be in much of a position to help themselves.

  9. Institute for War & Peace is speculating on the possibility of extending the rand zone to include Zimbabwe. It will be interesting to see if that approach is adopted, and if so what effects it will have on the region.

  10. Its an interesting proposal but one which I doubt RSA would seriously consider.

  11. Well with dollarization almost a fait accompli and rand freely converting at 10:1 at tills around the country, there is increasing pressure on Harare to declare an official dollarization policy. That however poses difficulties since the American Federal Reserve would then have control over monetary policy (which simply has to change one way or the other), and that would be horribly embarrassing not to mention contentious for ZANU-PF. Most Zimbabweans certainly would view entry into the Rand Zone as highly preferable to surrender of control to Washington.

    But you are quite right, the whole thing hinges on how badly SA wants to stabilize the Zimbabwean freefall, and what conditions they would require in order to avoid a crisis of confidence in the rand. I am personally among those who believe that at this point Zimbabwe won't be able to solve its problems on its own. Therefore the big question for me is whether it is better (cheaper? fairer? better?) to formalize randization sooner or later?

    All four large coal fired thermal power plants in Zim have reportedly shut down. Railway workers downed tools on Monday, pledging not to go back to work until they are paid in forex. Water treatment has shut down for lack of funds, and water bourne diseases like cholera are blooming in neighboring countries all along the border regions. Reports of widespread killings and direct military takeover of diamond mining is prompting a Kimberley Certification review that threatens to classify Zim exports as blood diamonds. This is becoming increasingly expensive for everybody.

    The elephant in the room of course is that Zimbabwe run the ZANU way is not an attractive investment prospect for anyone. Yes, the IMF and World Bank cut them off which subsequently hurt their credit rating, but they can't have it both ways: if these organizations are so incredibly powerful that Zimbabwe's circumstance is the inevitable result of their wrath, then ZANU were fools to have ever crossed them in the first place and should be begging for mercy.

    Ironically, the things that they needed to do in order to rescue their credit rating on their own (i.e. balancing budgets, improving balance of trade, privatization of failing parastatals), were precisely the same things that they refused to do in the first place, resulting in their credit needing rescuing.

    Instead they took on even more unsecured debt and went on a printing spree to pay the interest. Then they started slanting the foreign exchange market to skim a steadily increasing percentage off every business transaction that involved imports (i.e. oil, therefore everything). Then they started to fix prices, which caused whatever manufacturing remained to stumble to a halt, prompting seizure and recapitalization with fiat currency as a parastatal controlled by the central bank. This has reached rather silly proportions, with the central bank directly operating 33 buses specifically for the purpose of shuttling health care workers to and from home as a condition of recent negotiated settlements. This IMF conspiracy is truly terrifying!

    The sane thing is to let everyone get paid in rand, and let the central government meet its budget through taxation and profitable operation of parastatals. Then people will have some kind of stable world in which to stand, survey, and begin to rebuild. Sanity is not something I have come to expect out of this crisis thus far however.

  12. IPS reports on the inability to draft a budget for Zimbabwe in anything other than forex:

  13. Zimbabwean State Media reports that rail strikes are still underway:

    Strike paralyses service

    Zimbabwe Herald, Bulawayo Bureau.

    THE strike by National Railways of Zimbabwe employees is still underway, causing disruptions to passenger and freight train movement.

    In an interview, a member of one of the unions representing workers at the parastatal said workers were pressing on with their industrial action until their demands are met.

    NRZ public relations manager Mr Fanuel Masikati also confirmed that the strike was still on, saying negotiations were in progress.

    The workers’ representative said they were demanding a cushion allowance of US$200 per month, payable fortnightly and a US$40 transport allowance.
    "We are aware that our salaries need parliamentary approval so we are concentrating on the allowances for the time being.

    "Our employer is charging in foreign currency, so we also want the forex because you can hardly find anything being sold in local currency these days," he said.

    "To prove that most things are now sold in forex, we challenged our management to accompany us into town so that we could shop together and see what we could get in Zimbabwean dollars.

    "We went with our acting Area Manager, Mr Ntini and we struggled to get anything in local currency, which was proof that our demands were realistic."
    He said since August last year, workers had been struggling to get their money from banks resulting in their families going without basics.

    "Of course, we appreciate that they have got buses to transport us to and from work, but we feel that the free transport is meant to enslave us by ensuring that we provide our labour for free."


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