20 November 2018 – The economic situation in Zimbabwe is quite difficult at present. While all trade is in USD (even though other currencies are accepted) there is also the existence of “Bond Notes”. These Bond Notes were issued in 2014 valued at $1 in Bond Notes equals US$1, in response to large volumes of USD being taken out of the country. However in recent months, that parity is being lost and the bond notes are currently trading around 3:1.The effect is that various items such as foodstuffs that are imported and surprisingly locally produced cement have suffered a three fold increase in purchase price. While those who have access to USD are not affected because they can exchange their USD for Bond Notes, those who do not have USD are heavily impacted by these increases.
16 September 2018 – On a recent visit to Zimbabwe, we found that the people were generally accepting of the election result and are simply getting on with life. There is some serious work for the new government to do particularly in relation to the economy but there are also health issues with the recent outbreak of both cholera and typhoid in some parts of the country. If you are a praying person, it is time to start thinking about the next planting season in December but it is imperative that rain falls before then to soften up the ground.
16 August 2018 – The recent elections in Zimbabwe saw President Mnangagwa obtain 50.8% while the main opposition candidate Nelson Chamisa gained 44.3%. This means that the President has been given a mandate to govern although there is a court challenge to that result which has yet to be resolved. The ruling party won a clear majority 144 seats against the Opposition MDC’s 64 seats. There were violent protests immediately after the election, resulting in several deaths. It seems that in terms of freeness and fairness, this election was much better than the previous two.