By Anna Chibamu
PENSIONERS and workers have lost 400% of their earnings in 10 days as the Zimbabwe currency continues to tumble, former Finance minister Tendai Biti has said.
The ZWL dropped by almost 26% on the official market Tuesday, the biggest collapse in one day since the introduction of the Foreign Exchange Auction System three years ago.
Prices of goods and services continue to rise on a daily basis as the ZWL devalues against the greenback.
The CCC Harare East legislator Thursday blasted the government for failing dismally adding that workers are losing their wages daily due to a runaway inflation.
Biti wrote: “Only two weeks ago, the rate was US$1 to ZW$1000. US$1000 was a flat ZW$1m. Now the rate is at US$1 to ZW$4000. This means in a mere ten days working people and pensioners have lost 400% of their wages and pensions. Truth is the kakistocracy has failed and failed in absolute terms.”
Zimbabwe’s current inflation rate is said to be at 666%, heaping pressure on hard strapped citizens who can no longer afford basic commodities.
In the country’s main retail shops prices have doubled in just over a week. The price of a 2kg packet of sugar is pegged at US$4.80 from US$2.30.
This is against paltry salaries earned by the majority of the working class.
A recent Health Parliamentary portfolio committee meeting with nurses and nurse aides at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals revealed nurses were earning just ZW$45k and a USD component was an allowance which could be scrapped anytime by treasury.
The situation has been described as disastrous by some economists who feel government must urgently consider dollarising the economy.
Parastatals and other government departments such as ZIMRA, ZINARA and the Registrar’s office are now offering services in US$ yet its employees are still being paid in ZWL.