THE continued economic turmoil is sending many Zimbabweans into depression as they fail to make ends meet or doing their obligations as breadwinners, ultimately driving some to commit suicide as the only way out of their misery.
Many Zimbabweans have either lost their jobs or the lucky few still in working are not being paid enough to meet their basic needs. This has caused a lot of strife in the homes or pushing others in clinical depression.
Zimbabwe Republic Police spokesman Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said there has been a 42% increase in suicide cases in the first quarter of this this year compared to 2018.
“We have recorded 129 suicidal in the first three months of this year, compared to 91 recorded last year during the same period, thus a perplexing 42% increase,” Nyathi said.
He added that suicide cases spike from July to October, with many caused by social problems that include loss of jobs and financial strain.
A slowdown in Zimbabwe economy; job losses, company shutdowns and increase of bills have had a negative effect on people’s emotional health.
A month ago, 56 year old police officer John Tamu took his life, prompting many to consider why a mature man with a lovely wife and family could commit suicide, leaving his family to the further torment.
Tamu hanged himself in his house with a barbed wire, after he was served with a retirement letter. Many pensioners are struggling to make ends meet as the national pension scheme is paying an average $80 a month, which does not meet even electricity bills.
Many Zimbabweans fear going into retirement as most of their savings have been wiped out by hyperinflation. They reason that it would be better to continue working and at least get some money which is more than pensions being paid out at the moment.
Some analysts argue that most Zimbabwean men, who are often breadwinners, fail to handle the pressure of losing a job and income. They say the men see it as an emasculation of the masculinity.
Consequently, many retrenched people go into depression or start depending on drugs and ultimately commit suicide as they lose hope of regaining their self-esteem.
Zimbabwe, like many African countries, is a patriarchal society and men are expected not to show emotion, provide their families and generally be the head of the family associated with their incomes. The societal expectations cause men to fail to adapt, especially during economic crisis as one the country is going through.
BY CAROLINE NYAMAYARO