Spare a thought for the sick…

THE economic challenges Zimbabwe is facing require a quick solution by President Emmerson Mnangagwa without equivocation. Yet it appears that Mnangagwa’s economic dawn, as espoused by Finance minister Mthuli Ncube, is going to be a long, dark night.


It boggles the mind why the measures put by government to supposedly accelerate economic reforms are turning out to be a nightmare.

We believe this pain afflicted on the people should be brought to a halt. Already, the pain the citizenry has gone through over the last 20 years or so under Zanu PF’s poor governance is enough. No more pain in the name of economic recovery, the people have had enough already. And Mnangagwa should know that.

What reforms are we talking about when basic commodities are disappearing from the shelves faster than they can be restocked, while prices are rising by the hour and people’s savings with them?

Yes, there are times the citizenry have to take the pain, but there is need to spare a thought for those on critical life-prolonging drugs — particularly HIV, diabetic, cancer and hypertension patients, among others — who are facing an acute shortage of medicines. Pharmaceutical firms are refusing to dispense the drugs against medical aid, rather demanding payment in US dollar.

Consider that an individual that takes a total of eight drugs and just one of them, Doxazosin, is priced at US$48 for a month’s supply — or $192 bond (at yesterday’ parallel market rates). This is just for one drug at these extortionate rates. It means this person would need an excess of about $2 000 for all their monthly supply of medicines. How many people are able to afford that?

The underside to this whole situation is that it will open the floodgates to a black market of drugs, as some enterprising malcontents can import them from South Africa, where they are cheaper. This poses further danger to patients whose drug intake must be prescribed and monitored by professionals.

The greatest fear that many people now have is that these austerity measures extend to their very lives, as they are dependent on the drugs for survival. This is one sector in which Mnangagwa and his team need to intervene urgently.

Understandably, those in government who are also on these drugs are privileged to accessing them easily, but they must spare a thought for many of the elderly pensioners who constitute the largest number of people taking hypertension and diabetes drugs.

We appeal to Mnangagwa to apply himself diligently to this matter, knowing fully well that these patients’ lives are now in his hands. It is up to him and his regime to put measures in place to ensure that they continue to live, or that they perish, simply because the critical medicines upon which their very lives are dependent on have been priced beyond their reach in the name of “making the economy happy”.

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  1. what an editorial comment. thank you mr editor. just like i was discuss this with my family this morning you have well explained this disaster facing the nation. all my family members phoned me to point at this comment.
    God have mercy on this nation.

  2. Spot on Mr Editor..i am an example of those affected as i have a heart condition and now my medication bill has gone up to $1500 per month..the situation has already forced me to stop taking my medication as i am failing to replenish.Is this kind of pain that we have been told to embrace?with my condition without medication i can drop anytime..what will happen to my kids.I think the government has failed not only this generation but the future generation as well.

  3. Well thought out editorial. Austerity measures that do not take cognizance of vulnerable sections of the society are cruel and heartless. Vulnerable groups include the seriously sick, the terminally sick, those on life sustaining drugs, pregnant women, the old, the infirm, widows, orphans, pensioners and even the unemployed.The vulnerable do not have resources to stockpile the way many panic buyers are doing because they lack the resources to do so. Everyone understands the government’s desperate need to raise money via taxation but trying to collect tax in a situation where prices of basics have gone ballistic is like trying to retrieve nuts in a burning inferno.Why did the Minister abandon his earlier plan to Rand-ize the monetary system so as to shield people’s savings with a stable currency?After all the RSA is our biggest trading partner and 90 percent of our diaspora live there and remit large amounts of money back home.

  4. I have hypertension. I take two drugs. The phamarcies want US$ or they simply refuse to sell by claiming that they have run out of the drug.Any pain that the president says i should take means death for me. Maybe my family should take the pain after i have gone.I an currently looking for the drug on the black market. I think the finance minister has lived outside the country too much and has no experience on our troubles.

  5. well said chinhata

  6. President Mnangagwa rigged the elections, there is not even one international observer from a nation known for holding democratic elections who has not condemned the recent elections. The people of Zimbabwe are sick to the back teeth of regimes that impose themselves on the nation only to loot and rob them blind!

    This illegitimate Zanu PF junta must step down!

  7. zimbabweans tisu tine inonzi [Resistance to change ]Is our president hiking the prices?Is he determining the usd biack market rate ?Is he asking people to loot commodities from shops to sell in the open market ? REFORMS ARE FOR US BY US .

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