Friday, 27 August 2021

ZANU PF, MDC A HAVE FAILED TO DELIVER ON PROMISES : REPORT

The ruling Zanu -PF has failed to deliver much from its election pledges to citizens while the opposition weakened due to infighting and factions, leaving it unable to set up a formidable shadow cabinet to proffer clear alternative policies, the latest report by Citizens in Action Southern Africa (CIASA) has revealed.

Published this August, CIASA says due to failure to deliver on promises by these political parties, it was now more important than ever for citizens to vote for politicians who delivered to the country’s development considering campaigns for the 2023 national elections were already gathering momentum.

In delivering this report, CIASA focused on evidence-based service delivery analysis of the 2018 electoral promises, noting it was important for citizens to be informed of how political parties have fared as measured by their own yardstick provided in election manifestos they presented to voters.

“It is clear that the ruling party has not been able to deliver much with regards to its pledges to the citizens signified by the discussion provided in this assessment. On the other hand, the opposition is too weak to enforce any of its promises due to a number of exogenous and endogenous factors resulting in a paltry performance,” reads the report.

The report discusses how Zanu-PF promised to revamp the health sector but since 2018, public health systems have been in constant deterioration coupled with dilapidation of the existing infrastructures, with most hospitals understaffed and lacking basic medicines and equipment for basic medical procedures.

“Health workers have also been perennially entering into industrial action informed of strikes and go slows owing to poor remuneration, (which is below 50 percent of what their peers in regional countries like South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and Angola earn) and pathetic conditions of service,” CIASA said.

Regarding education, CIASA highlighted Zanu-PF promised free basic education for all including quality and state funded tertiary education but since 2018, access to basic education became a privilege for the elites leaving out disadvantaged learners especially those with disabilities and rural learners.

The report cited how for long periods in the schooling calendar, since 2018, teachers were on industrial action owing to poor remuneration and working conditions.

“Teachers are demanding a restoration of their pre-October 2018 salaries which were pegged at US$520 basic salary for the lowest paid teacher. Currently, the lowest paid teacher is earning an equivalent of about US$180,which is also below the Total Consumption Poverty Line which is conservatively estimated at ZWL34,666.00 for a family of six by the government’s statistical agency,” CIASA said.

Touching on the transport sector, CIASA highlighted that, again, since 2018, the transport sector has degenerated from bad to worse.

“Banning of private players in the urban transport ecosystem unless they register with the inefficient and highly corrupt state owned ZUPCO has resulted in widespread transportation shortages especially in urban areas,” the report indicated.

The opposition, especially the MDC Alliance was not spared from criticism by CIASA, who cited the party had several promises in its Sustainable and Modernisation Agenda for Real Transformation (SMART) election manifesto.

“Infighting within the opposition has seen mass recalls of elected officials further hampering any chances that it could effectively implement its manifesto,” said CIASA.

“Its failure to have significant representation in parliament as the ruling party had a constitutional majority has made its ability to push for implementation of its policies through parliament largely academic.

However, the report noted that failure to fully implement devolution by the government as set out in Zimbabwe’s constitution made it difficult for MDC Alliance to effectively implement its policies in the urban centres where it has a mandate.

CIASA also noted the opposition did try to use the portfolio committees under its control to push for accountability in government, citing the Public Accounts Committee which held several hearings on how the government was using taxpayers’ monies and sought to hold duty bearers to account.

Given all this, CIASA concluded that the “opposition is weak, divided and thus is failing to hold the government to account and push for implementation of some of its promises.”

The assessment adopted a mixed approach where qualitative analysis of SSD was employed from a social audit perspective and quantitative analysis of reports produced by various institutions such as sectoral report and the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment 2020.

Generalised conclusions were made based on findings and expert opinion from different population groups across Masvingo, Manicaland and Midlands such as sectors or pillars, who are women, youth, disability, elderly, students amongst other vulnerable and disenfranchised groups that are normally left out. Cite.org.zw

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