Zimbabwe

Economic Crisis for the Elderly, April 2009

Zimbabwe’s new Unity Government has suspended the use of the Zimbabwean dollar for a year.

The dollar had become a symbol of President Robert Mugabe’s teetering rule: an ailing economy, high unemployment, collapsed infrastructure and social services. More than half the 12 million population are now reliant on emergency food aid. The Zimbabwean dollar has been replaced by the South African rand, Botswanan pula and US dollar. For thousands of older people it means their savings are worthless. They have no way of acquiring foreign currency, which they need to buy food and other essentials.

  • Emmanuel Zinhare, who is struggling to support his family after his savings in Zimbabwean dollars became worthless. Kate Holt.
  • David, who is from Mozambique and came to work in Zimbabwe in the 70's. Kate Holt.
  • An elderly resident who is blind sits on his bed, at an elderly people's home. Kate Holt.
  • Sekwerekwe Bitoni sits on the floor of his home, that is a disused railway carriage. Kate Holt.
  • Sekwerekwe Bitoni eats his daily meal of maize at an elderly peoples home in Mazowe. Kate Holt.
  • Sekwerekwe Bitoni ( C ) is photographed with two other men at a community meeting. Kate Holt.
  • An elderly woman holds up the only beans her and her husband have to eat that day. Kate Holt.
  • Masiziba Saiba is sits in her room with her life savings of Zimbabwean dollars that are now worthless. Kate Holt.
  • Masiziba Saiba is sits in her room with her life savings of Zimbabwean dollars that are now worthless. Kate Holt.
  • Masiziba Saiba is sits in her room with her life savings of Zimbabwean dollars that are now worthless. Kate Holt.
  • Smao Kemobo, a resident of Melford Farm elderly people's home sits for a photograph in Harare. Kate Holt.
  • Jesca Seremani, who has lost seven of her eight children to aids, poses for a photograph. Kate Holt.