By Shingirai Vambe
Zimbabwe’s health sector continues to struggle under the weight of power challenges and ill-equipped institutions, Post On Sunday reports.
This came to light when our Source from Chitungwiza Hospital yesterday lamented the current situation at the hospital. She went further to disclose that 4 people died one after the other due to power challenges.
“It has been a difficult moment working in the health sector, when you are supposed to save lives and see people dying daily if friends and relatives fail to buy their own things to use at the hospital.
In most cases, electricity, needles, latex gloves to mention just a few are in short supply, if you don’t personally order things from the pharmacy, be prepared to see lives being lost, especially from the accident victims and others in need of surgery,” she said.
The health Parliamentary committee has since issued a statement that the ministry was under funded, while many state institutions are suffering in the intensive care unit (ICU).
As the global inflation point to negative, rising due to pandemic related supply chain, disruptions and firming energy prices, elevated food prices and lagged effects of discrepancy in currency rates, Zimbabwe is now on the verge of economic collapse.
Zimbabwe’s inflation was on a downward trajectory for the greater part of 2020-2021 until it started picking up in September 2021 against the backdrop of tight fiscal and monetary policy stance. Currently the country’s inflation rate is at 97 percent after it had gone down to 60.7 percent from 362 percent respectively.
This has resulted to a number of challenges that most public sectors are facing, such as the health and education sector where teachers who marked the November 2021 Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council (ZIMSEC) examinations not yet fully paid despite the continuous changes in rates and prices of goods and service in the country.
Deputy president of the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce, Mike Kamungeremu told the post on Sunday that the continued widening gap of the official and parallel market exchange rate remains a threat to downward trajectory.
“Inflation inertia is when prices keep rising because if past inflation, a situation where inflation becomes self-generating due to expectations despite the lack of structural reasons for that to happen.
Kamungeremu added, Inflation always has some degree of inertia, and past experience like the 2008 hyper inflationary environment tend to haunt the current macroeconomic atmosphere”.
He further highlighted that due to government expenditure, Agricultural inputs, salaries and infrastructural development; without a sustainable source of income generation, inflation is more likely to rise from 7 percent per month to between 9 and 12 percent a month starting June 2022.
The ZNCC theme for this year is, “bolstering resilience and innovativeness for sustainable growth” In light of that, prices have gone up in both US dollars and Zimbabwe dollars leading to the increase to scarcity of basic needs in local currency or exorbitantly charged beyond the reach of many.
Having corruption as a major setback in Zimbabwe, the chamber is however working together with the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) fighting corruption with some results surfacing from the Auditor general’s office which has seen the collapse on many state enterprises.
Kamungeremu said the issue of low compensation, particularly for the civil service workers, uniformed forces and other public serving employees has fuelled extortion, bribery artificial shortages and the perpetrators often go unnoticed.
Recently Parliament debated the insurance bill, with proposals that public hearings be done for the second time following a low turnout due to lack of awareness and notifications through the media. Though the Speaker insisted that there was enough advertising as is always the case, Norton Legislator, Temba Mliswa argued and suggested that before debate the committee should go again to the public for the second time due to numbers and type of persons mostly affected, the elderly.
The current economic situation in Zimbabwe has affected, failed to meet the statutes enshrined in the 2013 constitution on human rights to education, health, water, to mention just a few.
ZNCC in 2021 congress had a plethora of resolution and one among them was to engage with Parliament, address the foreign exchange Auction and accessing the ZL $18 billion economic recovery package after the disruption of business due to Covid-19.
Salaries for majority of Citizens can’t afford a standard health care from private institution. It is this week that the ZIMSEC has announced new examination fees where grade 7 pupil will pay a total of ZWL $9 750 which shared between the candidate and the government.
O’level will now cost ZWL $3600 per subject being shared as well between the candidate and the government.
Various stakeholders, Unions and captains of industries have raised an alarm, pleading with government to consider reviewing of salaries, and give a living wage to its employees as well as abandon the Auction exchange rate in the already dollarized economy.
Meanwhile a Rusape, Dumbabwe Secondary school 2021 O’level student could not get her examination results after ZIMSEC failed to get confirmation of examination fees from the District Education office paid under the Basic Education Assistance Module (BEAM)