A NEW report by research organisation Sivio Institute has shown that most citizens believe the government has failed to deliver on key priorities having ample resources, with corruption being the major contributory factor.
The report shows that central government has failed to provide employment and adequate healthcare, which are among the top priorities of citizens who took part in the survey.
According to Sivio’s Citizens Perceptions and Expectations (CPE) for 2023, 60% of citizens who took part in the survey said the government has failed to provide employment. Zanu PF’s 2018 election campaign manifesto was themed Unite, Fight Corruption, Develop, Re-Engage, Create Jobs.
However, working conditions have hit rock bottom, with the skilled workforce seeking greener pastures outside the country.
“The country has been facing a multifaceted crisis and, over the years, citizens’ expectations of what the government should do has remained the same. In previous surveys, we learnt that citizens would prefer that the government focus on creating employment, dealing with corruption, and stabilising prices.
“These three top priorities speak to the context that has defined the last five years (possibly for decades) for Zimbabwean citizens. The government has been doing well in infrastructure development projects as shown on our Zim Citizens Watch policy tracker.
“However, from the previous CPE reports, Zimbabwean citizens have never identified these as the top priority areas of focus for the central government,” read part of the report. The country has been failing to maintain health facilities.
The report also showed that 57% of citizens have given President Mnangagwa’s government a low rating in its five-year tenure, while 4% of citizens gave a positive rating, with 39% giving him a medium rating.
Forty-nine percent of participants in the survey highlighted corruption as one of the major hurdles to government’s performance, while a further 13% pinned government’s failure on incompetence. The majority of the people believe government has been performing dismally despite having adequate resources to address key priority areas like health and employment creation.
According to the report, citizens believe central government has failed to provide adequate employment and improved healthcare in its five-year tenure.
While the government has been underlining sanctions as the major factor hindering its efforts to address the crises affecting the country, only 6% of the respondents felt that this was a constraint.
In service delivery, 48% of participants have rated their local authority’s performance as low, while 4% rate their local authority’s performance as high, with the remainder giving an average score. The top priority for local authorities is the regular supply of clean water, road maintenance, quality of clinics and garbage disposal.
According to the CPE, 39% of citizens have been seeing corruption as the top factor hindering the effectiveness of their local authority, while 23% see their officeholders as incompetent. The country’s corruption fight has been in a shambles, and is expected to worsen, with experts warning of conflict ahead of the 23 August general elections due to public discontent caused by economic failure.
For instance, civil society has called for a special commission of inquiry to investigate findings by Qatari news channel Al Jazeera after it emerged that Zimbabwe has been losing close to 200 kilogrammes of gold every month through politically connected elites.
The acolytes, all linked to President Emmerson Mnangagwa, have been smuggling gold to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), while laundering vast sums of money.
The country has been a non-mover on Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI), with a 23/100 score, falling behind the regional average of 32/100, while ranking 157 out of 180 of the most corrupt countries in the world.
The index measures perceptions of public sector corruption levels in 180 countries around the world.