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How to waste $8 million in cash-strapped Zimbabwe, and what it could buy

Last month, ZESA paid $8 million to Eskom to save the country from power blackouts. Zimbabwe is now struggling to pay $5 million per week as agreed with the South African utility. ZANU-PF plans to spend $3 million more on its congress, over just three days.

Eight million dollars is also what IDBZ, the infrastructure bank, had to raise through a housing bond, part of a plan to raise money to build thousands of low cost homes.

Eight million dollars is also what Chitungwiza collected from ratepayers between January and August this year.

The congress budget makes a mockery of aid pleas.

The $8 million is more than the $7 million that the EU has given to Zimbabwe to help support agriculture extension services.

 Congress will also spend more than three times the $2.5 million humanitarian aid that Zimbabwe sought from the EU earlier this year.

Eight million dollars is also the amount that the EU gave Zimbabwe late last year, from the reserve of the 11th European Development Fund, for drought relief.

Sweden has recently paid $8 million into the Zimbabwe Resilience Building Fund to help the country support its poor.

USAID has paid the $8 million under its Feed the Future crop development programme, covering 15 districts across five provinces.

In the 2017 budget, basic health services for poor and vulnerable households got just an eighth of what ZANU-PF plans to spend in December.

One million is also what Government committed to support National Pharmaceutical Company (NatPharm), the company that supplies and stores drugs for public hospitals.

Speaking of drugs, Caps Holdings needs no more than $6 million to get back into business. Caps was once of Africa’s largest drug makers, but it has virtually collapsed and been taken over by Government. It now operates just one of its four plants.

This week, central bank said it was paying $4 million to pharmacies to import drugs each week.

According to Ministry of Health data, $8 million is what was raised between January and July from the airtime levy to fund healthcare.

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