Zimbabweans miss unity govt

via Zimbabweans miss unity govt – DailyNews Live 31 August 2015

HARARE – A new survey released by a local think-tank has shown the majority of Zimbabweans miss the inclusive government which they credited with stabilising the economy.

According to the post-elections survey by the Mass Public Opinion Institute (Mpoi), Zimbabweans blamed President Robert Mugabe’s government for taking the country in a wrong direction.

The survey was conducted in September last year but its findings have just been released, coinciding, with the economic troubles which have raised fears of unrest.

“Almost half of adult Zimbabweans felt the country was going in the wrong direction. Zimbabweans had a gloomy assessment of their present personal and country economic conditions,” the report said.

Forty-two percent believed the country was in a much worse economic situation than was being experienced during the inclusive government in which Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai shared power following the signing of the Global Political Agreement.

The inclusive government stabilised the economy as Zimbabwe ditched its worthless currency to adopt a multi currency system, credited with wiping off runaway inflation and returning goods into the supermarkets.

Two years after its expiry, the gains made at its consummation have been reversed — leading to genuine fears that the current meltdown could lead to collapse of government business.

According to the Mpoi report, 47 percent of the people interviewed believed that the country was going in the wrong direction, while 32 percent believed the country was on the right path.

The Mpoi report said some Zimbabweans also reported deprivations in respect of other basic needs such as clean water, medicine, food, and fuel to cook food.

“Matabeleland North and South provinces were the two most affected by food shortages.  Harare and Bulawayo metropolitan provinces faced serious challenges in terms of access to clean water and fuel to cooking food. Farming came first as the main source of food for many Zimbabweans; in second place was the use of a salary; in third place was project income. Remittances from relatives also played a critical role,” the report read.

“Government received worst rating in terms of job creation and most positive rating in terms of addressing educational needs. By far, unemployment ranked as the most important problem that confronts the current Government. A plurality felt the Government had not done anything important to them.”

Government’s much-maligned blueprint — Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZimAsset) — was not known by 56 percent of people interviewed.

“Of those who had heard about this economic blueprint (i.e. the 43 percent of the survey respondents), a plurality of 42 percent held the view that the plan is not a remedy to Zimbabwe’s development challenges; another 31 percent felt it was a remedy to a ‘moderate’ or ‘large extent’,” the report read.