via Zanu PF fails on its election promises – DailyNews Live 20 March 2015 by Fungi Kwaramba
HARARE – Two years down the road since the disputed 2013 elections, President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF has failed to deliver on a single one of its plethora of pledges contained in its high-sounding election manifesto, including promises to create two million jobs.
A former Zanu PF politburo member who spoke to the Daily News yesterday said it was always clear that the party would not meet any of its election promises, given its dismal record in office — going on to describe the party’s pledges as “a typical hotchpotch of outright lies and pie-in-the sky twaddle meant to hoodwink voters”.
“Instead of delivering on any of the electoral promises, the clueless leaders of our government are obsessed with fighting each other and doing fellow comrades down, leaving the economy in free-fall and creating a tinderbox for dissent among the country’s hungry and angry populace,” the disaffected former party bigwig who requested anonymity said.
Ahead of the contested 2013 elections, Mugabe and his party propagandists promised to create at least two million jobs in five years, in addition to pledging to ensure food security in the country, among a litany of other promises that have so far come to naught.
“In addition, Zanu PF’s Indigenisation and Empowerment initiatives outlined in this People’s Manifesto will see an average GDP growth rate of nine percent by 2018 up from the current 4,4 percent; 250 000 low income housing units will be built; 1 250 public houses and buildings will be rehabilitated; 2 500 shell factories, flea and vendor market stands will be created; 310 clinics and 300 schools will be built and a new Parliament complex will be constructed in Mt Hampden,” reads part of the manifesto.
But according to Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa, at least 4 160 companies have officially closed down since 2011, sending more than 55 000 employees into overnight destitution.
Economists also say average incomes in Zimbabwe are now at their lowest levels in 60 years, with a survey commissioned by FinMark and ZimStats last month revealing that the majority of the country’s adult population has to make do with less than $100 a month.
And according to the African Development Bank (AfDB), Zimbabwe’s economy is in “a fragile state, with an unsustainable high external debt and massive de-industrialisation and informalisation”.
“The average GDP growth rate of 7,5 percent during the economic rebound of 2009-12 is moderating.
“This economic slowdown is due to liquidity challenges (e.g the lack of and high cost of capital and revenue underperformance), outdated technologies, structural bottlenecks that include power shortages and infrastructure deficits, corruption and a volatile and fragile global financial environment,” the AfDB said.
Premised on the country’s controversial Indigenisation Law, that forces companies to divest 51 percent of their investments to locals, the Zanu PF manifesto also promised food security.
But with most of the irrigation equipment on grabbed farms lying desolate due to vandalism and mismanagement by the new “cellphone” farmers, as well as a glaring lack of government support, more than two million Zimbabweans will need food aid this year.
Mugabe’s much-criticised fast track land reforms are blamed for reducing the country, once seen as the breadbasket of Africa, into a basket case — with even Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa last week admitting that the country would need to import food to save millions from starvation.
Apart from failing to ensure food security, the government is also failing to deliver on critical social services.
The country has a housing backlog of 1,25 million, and in the last two years there has been no major housing scheme that has been bankrolled by the government.
Instead, Mugabe’s government has demolished many houses in several parts of the country in the name of engendering proper urban planning, throwing many into the open.
With regards to the creation of jobs, trade unions contend that more than 90 percent of the country’s eligible population is unemployed, with many now living on vending.
And by Zanu PF’s own admission in its manifesto, “only one fifth of Zimbabwe has access to clean water” — which is an optimistic estimate of the actual and deteriorating situation on the ground.
This situation constitutes a clear and present threat to the health of the population, with rural communities being the most threatened — and yet the government has taken no concrete measures to deal with the ever-deteriorating situation.
The water woes have forced the country’s biggest referral hospitals, as well as people who live in high density suburbs to resort to wells as taps have run dry.
Many analysts say with the leadership sleeping on the wheel, Zimbabweans now accustomed to daily a lack of water and ablution facilities, power cuts, hunger and a crumbling health sector are beginning to take matters into their hands through riots that are sporadically exploding across the country.