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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 March 2007, 18:18 GMT
Voices from inside Zimbabwe
Composite image of Tsvangirai [AP], police outside Zimbabwe High Court [AFP], protestors in Johannesburg [AP]

Zimbabweans living in the country tell the BBC News website what their biggest daily challenges are during the current economic and political crises and of their immediate hopes and plans.

Read their views and then click on the link below to respond to their viewpoints and have your say.

All names have been changed to protect the contributors' identities.

Kuku, 26, telecoms worker

Tafada, 25, librarian

Mandi, 26, engineer

KUKU, 26, WORKS FOR A TELECOMS COMPANY

Things are very difficult for the majority of us. Everything is beyond our reach.

Street vendor selling oil and toothpaste
Prices of basic commodities increase almost every day

I would like to marry but I cannot afford to get married. I wouldn't be able to even afford to stay with a wife, never mind have children.

I cannot discuss those kinds of things with my girlfriend - it would be nice to plan for it but we don't bring the subject up. Instead, we are trying to leave our country.

Life for people like myself and my girlfriend, who finished university in 2004, has never been rosy. I finished my education almost three years ago and yet I cannot even afford anything, not even a small room of my own.

We would like to go to South Africa and are definitely planning to go. I am waiting for my work permit and then we'll see what happens over that side.

I want to be able to make plans for the future. Here one cannot.

Your money erodes before you. Say that today you have 10 million Zimbabwean dollars ($177 as per the current black market exchange rate) in the bank, tomorrow it will be eight million and at the end of week it will be nothing.

It is impossible to put your money in the bank - you would lose it all. As soon as you get paid you must spend it, as soon as you can, just to maximise its worth.

If you go to the shop in the morning, the price of a commodity will be a certain amount, but if you don't buy it then, instead waiting till the evening comes, then that same commodity will be almost twice what it was in the morning.

Life is very difficult.

TAFADA, 25, IS A LIBRARIAN

My biggest difficulty is that prices are going up every day and my disposable income is being corroded.

Zimbabwean passport
I am in a dilemma now because I don't have a passport
Tafada, Harare

Those of us with jobs get an increase every month, but it is never relative, fair or enough.

Tomorrow a litre of petrol is going to cost 12,000 Zimbabwean dollars ($0.21 as per the current black market exchange rate), while yesterday it was 7,500 Zimbabwean dollars and so my transportation to go to work tomorrow will cost me 3,000 Zimbabwean dollars when yesterday it was 2,000 Zimbabwean dollars.

On Friday, last week, I paid 1,500 Zimbabwean dollars. So you see these are some of the problems.

Sometimes I have to walk to work if I am short of money.

I live with my brother and so I don't have to pay rent. If I did have to pay for accommodation, I wouldn't have any money left for anything else.

I want to go out of the country, to leave my life here - I see it as the only way to improve my personal circumstance. I have tried to leave but I don't have a passport. I only have my identification card.

I went to the passport office but they told me that they don't have the paper to make the passports and so I am in a dilemma now: because I don't have a passport, I cannot get away from here.

MANDI, 26, IS AN ENGINEER

I am having to ignore my needs because I cannot afford to attend to them.

Everything is difficult because firstly salaries are so very low. And secondly because inflation is too high.

We are living from hand to mouth, like animals. People here are as poor as animals.

HAVE YOUR SAY
People running away at a rally in Harare
The situation in Zimbabwe is now very bad. It cannot be solved by Zimbabweans alone
Herbert, Harare

Maybe your salary doesn't even take you one week - if you can buy food, pay your water and electricity bills and your rent then you are lucky. Thankfully I am able to do so but I can only afford those things. I can't ever buy new clothes - all I can buy are the basics.

Prices change every day and so one cannot even budget and sometimes when you have been able to keep some money for a certain item then, the day when you can afford it, you find that it is not available to buy.

Many items are often in short supply.

I have a wife but we don't have any kids. My wife doesn't have a job so she depends on me for everything. I manage to provide for most of her needs - some things I just cannot though.

If the political scenario changes then everything will be OK. Besides attending to our basic needs, we live under victimisation. We cannot express ourselves.

It stresses you out.

We are not free to be who we want to be because of the bias towards the ruling government. I want to be able to say what I want and do what I like, when I want.


Are you or anyone you know living in Zimbabwe? Click on the link below to respond to the viewpoints above and send us your views and experiences.




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