On that Zimbabwean Tip

Zimbabwe is indeed a beautiful country with amazing people. Most Zimbabweans are friendly, respectful, and kind to everyone regardless of skin colour. Lets get right to it and go for the jugular, shall we. There is of course some anti-white sentiment among some of the population due to the injustices that the white Rhodesians inflicted on the non-white population during colonial and UDI times. Mugabe? What about Mugabe? There is plenty of material about Mugabe online. Im sure we all have our opinions about the late President. Truth is, the Zimbabwean crises is the very epitome of the world pecking order. According to the world pecking order, when whites generally have everything their way at the expense of non whites, the world seems to tick along fine, though there is a limited concern for injustices that can only be expressed in the small hours of the night smoking the seventh joint with trusted friends.

There are hundreds of individual stories of people of all colours getting advantages or losing out unfairly in situations they never deserved in Zimbabwe. It’s impossible to decide right from wrong in every detail. I’ve heard stories directly from black and white Zimbabweans that are painful to hear. Overall however, the grand world hierarchical pattern is again at play, and there is an expected level of power, people of European origin are supposed to expect and enjoy, and when it has been disrupted, there is a big shout of injustice and God given catastrophe. But then that doesnt explain the suffering of the Shona and Ndebele people of Zimbabwe, does it? Yes but the whole crises is a theory of dominoes, it would have never resulted in any other way except for a war, disaster of some sorts or total collapse of the country. The land redistribution programme. Taking land from white settlers to give it back to their original owners, Shona & Ndebele people. However the land issue can never explain the POTHOLES in Zimbabwe. If someone asked me, what is the first thing that comes to mind when you think Zimbabwe, id say Potholes, the size of SINKHOLES.

Due to the economic collapse in Zimbabwe, for one to survive you have to think outside the box or have enough money to cushion yourself from the poor services delivery, and poor infrastructure. This has been my experience with Zimbabwe. Whether in Masvingo, Harare or Bulawayo. One more thing, never ever drive from Harare to Matebeleland, youll thank me later. JUST FLY!

To be fairly honest, Zimbabwe has a different SUN than the one we have in SADC region. Legend has it that only Limpompo in South Africa and Bulawayo in Zimbabwe experience such extreme hot temparatures in the whole of SADC. My working theory is that Zimbaweans angered the gods and need to make sacrifices and apologise to the gods. I belive the old Air Zimbabwe planes are a worthy sacrifice to the gods and ancestors. Maybe then, will the gods and ancestors do something about the heat especially in Bulawayo. From different discussion with the Zimbawean diaspora in Eswatini, here are a few common generalities of life in Zimbabwe: LIfe is very tough at the moment; Low income for most people,or non existent in most extreme cases; High unemployment rates; Groceries and daily staples difficult to find and/or very expensive; Schooling is poor,teachers dont get paid,lack of facilities,lack of equipment; healthcare-very poor,long waiting times and equipment shortages.

HOWEVER no matter how hard the situation, it just cannot match the INFLATION. Fortunately, the rains have been good of late in Zimbabwe, and this might mitigate what would have been a disaster — various patches of crops should yield at least something in many areas. The situation is still dire in the many other areas that experienced a total crop failure. The situation will deteriorate and become dire in most other areas toward the end of the dry season as the meagre food stores become exhausted.

Zimbabwe: Zimbabwe, formerly Rhodesia, is a landlocked country in southern Africa. It borders South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, and Mozambique. English, Shona, and Ndebele are among the country’s most spoken national languages. The 2019 population is estimated at 17.30 million, an increase from the 2013 estimate of 14.09 million, and the country ranks 68th in the world. A civilization occupied the area by the Middle Ages. Trade developed in the early 10th century with Muslim merchants. This helped develop the Mapungubwe kingdom in the 11th century. Zimbabwe has 11 provinces whose names were derived from those at colonization. Each province is led by a provincial governor, appointed by the president. Each province is further subdivided into 59 districts and 1,200 wards. A district administrator heads each district. Rural district councils also exist in non-urban areas. Ward Development Committees govern the ward areas. Wards are further subdivided into villages. Land issues were a major problem in the late 1990s. Despite attempts at reforms, the whites, making up less than 1 percent of the population, held 70 percent of the arable land. Mugabe began a compulsory land redistribution program in 2000. The result of that land redistribution programme led to a lot of problems for the country and the result can be summed up by the pictures below:

People take selfie-pictures with Zimbabwean Defence Force soldiers during a march in the streets of Harare, on November 18, 2017 to demand to the 93 year-old Zimbabwe’s president to step down. Zimbabwe’s president clings to office, the military is in power and the much-feared ZANU-PF party still rules — but Zimbabweans put such issues aside on November 18, 2017 to happily embrace what they hope is a new era for the country. / AFP PHOTO / STR (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Life in Zimbabwe offers adventure, variety, culture and diversity, still having a relatively low cost of living. The cost of living in Zimbabwe is relatively low. The currency is commonly US dollars and whilst index prices can fluctuate daily, a meal at a cheap restaurant costs approximately 10 USD, a coffee 2.50 USD, a loaf of bread 1 USD, and a bottle of wine 8.60 USD. A three-bedroom apartment in big city center averages at 850 USD and one outside the center 1,000 USD. After recent troubles, the capital city Harare is ALLEGEDLY seeing many of its residents now prospering, with an increase in jobs and the tourism industry seeing foreigners returning in rising numbers.

HealthCare in Zimbabwe: Community healthcare in Zimbabwe is undertaken by the National Health Service (NHS), Mission Hospitals, and a number of non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The NHS has four integrated levels that offer both curative and preventative services, including maternity and child health. Unfortunately, due to lack of investment and a shortage of healthcare workers, the quality of local public healthcare is probably not to a standard that nomads maybe used to. Medical care is also quite expensive. Even with medical insurance — and private health insurance is definitely recommended — some cash upfront payment will be expected. Many nomads therefore chose to travel across the border into South Africa for more complex treatments and operations. 

Safety & Security in Zimbabwe: When considering life in Zimbabwe, crime and safety is of course a concern. City centers such as Harare continue to have many security challenges. With unemployment still high and the cost of living increasing, criminal activity extends to the low density suburbs where expats live. Despite the relaxed lifestyle, expatriates must be aware of the possibility of street muggings and burglaries and be sure to take vigilant precautions. In 2012, for instance, reports showed a 40% year-on-year increase in robberies in Harare’s northern suburbs. If you happen to become the unfortunate victim of a crime, either notify your nearest police station or call the emergency number – 995.

The challenge with writing a blog about Zimbabwe as a foreigner is that, having visited Zimbabwe so many times like myself, the problems are there for you to see and experience. There is too much mental and psychological strife, too much brokenness, the poverty, the disenfranchisement, the uncertainty, too much suffering and stress about the place. Zimbabweans are a strong people and have been through the most challenging times. THERE IS HOPE.

TOURISM blog about ZImbabwe would be injustice if we dont discuss and capture the suffering of the people of Zimbabwe, lest you be accused of being indifferent to the suffering of Zimbaweans. But its clear, following the Xenophobic attacks of foreigners in South Africa including Zimbaweans, the Shona and Ndebele people of that nation need our support more than ever before. LLife for an ordinary Zimbawean seems very hard these days and all the problems and man-made or engineered out of SPITE, HATE and IGNORANCE. Zimbaweans have shown to be a resillient nation and it is that RESILLIENCE that will put them through in these dark times.

Mainstream media/blogs/social media keyboard warriors sometimes exaggerate things, so it’s best to take what you hear or see with a grain of salt about Zimbabwe. Even from this blog!!!!!

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