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Zanu PF completes only 7% of 2018 promises: Study

THE Zanu PF-led government only managed to fulfil 16 of the 234 pledges in its 2018 election manifesto, which translates to just 7%, policy think-tank Sivio Institute has said.

The figure indicates that 93% of all the ruling party’s electoral promises made five years ago are yet to be fulfilled, with 187 promises still work in progress.

In the run-up to the 2018 elections, the ruling party released its campaign manifesto titled Unite, Fight Corruption, Develop, Re-engage, Create Jobs.

A Sivio Institute report titled Five Years of Progress or Stagnation released yesterday indicates that the ruling party made 234 promises, but has only made progress on 187 of them.

In measuring government’s performance, the think-tank classified the promises into eight clusters.

“To date the government has made progress on 187 promises, completed 16 and broke seven,” the report said.

It said government also presented difficulties when it came to characterising its nature, adding that government successfully sought to build or modernise infrastructure at a rapid pace.

“There are undisputed positive indicators of growth ranging from record production levels of important crops such as maize, tobacco and wheat in consecutive years.

“However, the rapid infrastructure modernisation has arguably not necessarily led to equitable growth but instead yielded increasing levels of poverty and inequality, without anysource of external funding.

“Furthermore, the current government seems to be bent on stifling political and civil freedoms. It took advantage of COVID-19-related measures to ensure that there are no incidents of protests.”

Sivio also noted that government’s use of force against protests over delays in announcing election results in August 2018 dented the country’s international re-engagement prospects and its attempt to rebrand.

“The government may have neglected and underrated the need to implement and foster ways of sustainable international collaborations,” Sivio said.

Sivio said Mnangagwa achieved a 74% rating in the agriculture and rural development sectors since 2018.

“This made the best-performing cluster with the highest completion rate of promises made,” the report said.

It also noted that the social service sector, which scored 42%, was the worst performer.

“Unfortunately, the incredible work done by the government in response to COVID-19 (social services) has been diluted by some of the intractable problems in the health sector and the lack of adequate government response to grievances such as poor conditions of service for medical practitioners.

“Despite the brave promises to eradicate corruption, existing allegations suggest that the scourge could have worsened during the period under review,” the report added.

On the economy, Sivio said the setting of the official exchange rate for the Zimbabwe dollar to United States dollar based on the weekly auction managed by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe had failed to curtail the parallel market rate which is often higher than the official rate.

Under the governance, politics and civil rights cluster, the government scored a 58% completion rate for the 11 promises under the sector.

The government, according to Sivio, took action under all 11 actions and implemented two promises.

“The government broke the promise of ‘upholding and applying fully the rule of law, while ensuring equality before the law’. In January 2019, the government resorted to the use of force in responding to riots and since then literally banned public protests.”

The report further states that the COVID-19 period and related lockdown measures led to an effective shutting down of the public space.

Sivio also noted that there were several cases where the concept of “equality before the law” has been violated.

In the social services sector, the Sivio Institute said under the health subsector, two promises had been broken including the review of the remuneration structure for medical professionals and ensuring that Treasury allocates at least 15% of the national budget to healthcare.

Government also scored 44% on corruption which the Zanu PF 2018 manifesto identified as an area of concern.

“They made promises and have started work on three of them. In the five years under review, the government has taken some actions to combat corruption,” the report said.

It added that despite what may seem an impressive performance on the part of the government, very little had changed on the ground.

“Unemployment remains a huge challenge. According to the recent census data 2,5 million persons were employed, which is 27,7% of the national working-age population,” it said.

Zanu PF spokesperson Christopher Mutsvangwa dismissed the Sivio Institute findings saying they were biased.

He said he had “interacted” with the institute’s researchers over their research but failed to get an objective outcome.

“I have not read their survey, but my experience says they are preoccupied with a fallacious fictional narrative that is divorced from actual voter realities,” Mutsvangwa said.

“They serve their hackeneyed sponsors more than they are true to the scientific method. Even the erstwhile begrudging Bretton Woods Institutions — IMF [International Monetary Fund] and World Bank now acknowledge the positive economic growth trajectory.”

He added that Zimbabwe would be producing 600 000 tonnes of carbon steel at the Dinson Iron and Steel Company (Disco) Zimbabwe by December this year.

The Disco project, in the Midlands province, is one of government’s major projects implemented after Mnangagwa won the election in 2018.

Mutsvangwa said power enablers in Kariba and Hwange had added 1 000 megawatts of energy to the grid while wheat harvests have shot up from deficit to export surplus.

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