World Cup Nightmare For Zimbabweans

Written by Frank Chikowore Harare - Soccer fans in Zimbabwe are unhappy with the Robert Mugabe administration's failure to provide sufficient power in most parts of the country. This has resulted in them failing to watch the ongoing World Cup in Germany.

Although Zimbabwe is not participating in the tournament, several citizens like Harare resident, Brian Zindove, have developed a vested interest in Germany 2006. "We have had no electricity for the past two days and we have not watched any World Cup game to the end because of loadshedding. Even though our team (Zimbabwe)is not taking part in Germany, we would like to follow the action in Germany", said Harare resident, Brian Zindove. Another soccer fan based in the country's second largest city of Bulawayo, Caleb Nyoni told this website that he was hoping to relieve himself, at least until the end of the games in Germany, from Mugabe's economic mismanagement by watching football. "I was thinking that I will have time to forget about my daily problems here in Zimbabwe by at least occupying my mind with the games at the World Cup but Mugabe saw it fit to deny us the chance to refresh our minds by failing to provide electricity. Only if I had the money I would have travelled to see the games in Germany but the economy's performance does not permit that luxury", said Nyoni. The country's troubled power utility, Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA), introduced loadshedding in all major cities and towns countrywide after the parastatal failed to import more electricity from South Africa and other countries due to foreign currency shortages. Zimbabwe is facing a severe forex crisis as a result of its chaotic land reforms that scared away tourists who immensely contributed to the country's forex inflows. The government-sponsored exercise also displaced thousands of white commmercial farmers, including their workers, from their properties. This adversely affected agricultural exports of the agro-based economy as land was then occupied by in-experienced and ill-equipped black peasants. But Mugabe - whose government was placed under targetted sanctions by the European Union - blames Zimbabwe's economic decline on "sabotage" by countries opposing his rule, especially Britain and the United States of America.