Zimbabwe headed in the wrong direction: survey

ZIMBABWE is headed in the wrong direction economically with many citizens still struggling to access basics such as food and medical care, the latest findings from an Afrobarometer survey have shown.

This is despite the claims by the government that the “second republic” has improved the lives of people.

Afrobarometer is a pan-African survey research network that started in 12 African countries in 1999 and provides data on Africans’ experiences and evaluations of the quality of life, governance and democracy.

The current Round 8 surveys in 2019/2021 cover 34 countries.

A national partner in each country conducts the survey and in Zimbabwe, the Afrobarometer Round 8 survey was conducted by the Mass Public Opinion Institute (MPOI).

“Two-thirds (67%) of Zimbabweans say the country is going in the wrong direction,” says the report published on 17 June 2021.

“Nearly three-quarters (72%) of Zimbabweans say economic conditions in the country are “fairly bad” or “very bad.” Almost two-thirds (62%) describe their personal living conditions as “fairly bad” or “very bad.”

The Zimbabwean economy has been deteriorating since President Emmerson Mnangagwa came into office in November 2017 following a coup that ended the late former president Robert Mugabe’s long rule.

The country, which stands accused of human rights violations, which escalated with the advent of Covid-19, has over the years failed to attract meaningful investment to turn around the economic fortunes of ordinary Zimbabweans.

Only about one-third (35%) of Zimbabweans, the report says, are optimistic that macroeconomic conditions will be better in 12 months’ time.

“About half of citizens say they went without enough food (52%), enough clean water (51%), and without medical care (55%) at least “several times” during the past year,” says the report.

Lack of clean water, according to the survey, was more common in urban areas while going without enough food and without a cash income was more common in rural areas.

“Large majorities say the government is performing badly on creating jobs (91%), keeping prices stable (78%), improving living standards of the poor (75%), and other issues,” says the report.”

Zimbabwe is set to hold general elections in 2023, which could further aggravate the situation should they be disputed like in 2018.

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