December 13, 2007

Zimbabwe's precarious survival

With the Zimbabwean economy in ruins, it is the people leaving the country who are helping those who have remained to survive.

For a country which is in a state of economic collapse, there is a surprising amount of movement in Zimbabwe today.

Drive through the darkened streets of Harare at night - for there is no electricity - and you see hundreds of people walking purposefully at two and three o'clock in the morning.

They are the few who need to get to work - only one in five of the adult population still has a job.

They take up their positions on street corners waiting for a passing car or pick-up truck.

There is no petrol, and regular bus services are already a distant memory.

"I sometimes wait four or five hours to get to work," said one office worker.

"But even the bosses don't complain."

Once one of the richest countries in Africa, Zimbabwe has become a barrow, bucket, and bag economy.