Source: Zimbabweans turn violent to survive – NewZimbabwe 05/06/2016
AS the economy continues to take a nosedive under the Zanu PF led government, it has emerged Zimbabweans not able to cope with the pressures have turned excessively violent towards one another.
According to crime statistics released recently by the National Statistical Agency, Zimbabweans were increasingly turning more daring in their daily quest to survive.
Murder cases, which were 638 during the calmer 2010 period in which the now defunct inclusive government was in control, have almost doubled, with 1 387 recorded in 2015.
Similarly, culpable homicide cases which were 337 in 2010, trebled in 2015 with 1 150 cases recorded.
Even worse were cases of fraud which increased by more than 400 percent with 2 624 cases recorded in 2010 shooting to 11 207 in 2015.
Car theft and dangerous drug possession also increased from 311 to 364.
In 2015, rape cases stood at 7 752, assault 69 641 and grievous bodily harm accounting for 235.
Traffic offences in 2015 were equally high with 13 800 nabbed for driving without licences, with reckless and negligent driving accounting for 418 and 5 619 cases respectively.
Social and political commentator, Jacob Rukweza, linked the skyrocketing crime-which stood at an overall 802 399 in 2015, up 761 043 – to rising poverty and stress levels as many resort to unorthodox means of earning a living.
“There is a clear and unbreakable sociological link between poverty and crime,” he said.
“When people are poor, they are driven into crime to earn a living or relieve stress.
“This can be traced to rising poverty levels in the aftermath of the GNU when Zanu PF took over and mismanaged the economy.”
Following the disbandment of the inclusive government when Zanu PF romped to a thumping victory in 2013, the country’s rulers promised a quick return to economic prosperity.
But the situation on the ground points to the contrary as up to 81 firms closed shop during the first quarter of 2016 due to viability constraints, according to the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions.
Over 20 000 also lost jobs and their terminal benefits during the turbulent period which followed a July 17, 2015 supreme court interpretation of common law statutes which allowed employers to retrench their staff on three months’
Currently, the government is struggling to control a cash crisis which has seen banks limit cash withdrawals in a desperate bid to control panic withdrawals by depositors.
“Companies have closed, thousands have lost jobs and the rate of unemployment is unprecedented at 80 percent. Even those who are still working are not getting their salaries because companies are distressed,” Rukweza said.
“Then you also have over 4 million people faced with starvation and needing food aid.
“The rising levels of murder, homicide and fraud in the country can easily be linked to this background of rising levels of poverty in the country especially after the GNU.”
The Zanu PF government has distanced itself from the current economic upheaval, insisting this was a direct result of western imposed sanctions on the Robert Mugabe administration.