'Zim situation worsening'

HARARE - Zimbabwe’s situation — economic downturn, youth unemployment, corruption, human rights abuses and poor service delivery — has worsened over the past five years, a survey has revealed.

According to the survey — conducted by Magamba Network in conjunction with Citizens Manifesto and the United States-based Orange Doo, 50 percent of respondents said Zimbabwe’s situation has gotten worse, while the rest contended that it had improved or remained the same.

Responding to the question; Has the situation in Zimbabwe improved or deteriorated over the last five years? The survey said “overall, 50 percent of respondents say it has gotten worse, 29 percent say that it has stayed the same, and 21 percent say that it has improved”.

“There is a significant divergence between English and Shona-speaking respondents. About 63 percent of English-speaking respondents say the situation has gotten worse, and 14 percent say it has gotten better (the rest say it has stayed the same.)

“By comparison, 26 percent of Shona respondents say the situation has gotten worse, and 37 percent say it has gotten better (the rest say it has stayed the same).

“Our Ndebele language sample is still quite small; 16 percent say the situation has gotten better, 30 percent say it has gotten worse, and 54 percent say it has stayed the same.”

The survey further said the most critical issue for most Zimbabweans was the economy.

“What is the most critical issue facing Zimbabwe? Overall, 46 percent of all respondents said it was the economic situation, followed by free and fair elections, (25 percent), corruption (16 percent), and improving basic services (11 percent),” it said.

“What issue is most important to you? Overall, 43 percent of all respondents said ending corruption, followed by human rights (20 percent), investing in youth (17 percent) and improving basic services (18 percent). Only two percent of respondents listed gender equality as their most important issue.”

This comes as the country is in the throes of a deepening liquidity crisis.

Following the introduction of the fiat “bond note” currency in a desperate bid to stem cash shortages in November 2016, US dollars vanished from circulation, with the parallel foreign currency market thriving.

Meanwhile, the survey added that 92 percent of respondents have registered to vote.

“Are you registered to vote? Are you planning to vote?  Overall, 92 percent of respondents say they are registered to vote, and of those, 98 percent say they are planning to vote.

“There is no significant difference between English and Shona speakers, nor between male and female respondents.

“There is a slight difference based on respondent age, with older respondents being more likely to be registered and more likely to vote.”

Magamba Network is an award-winning organisation, using creative forms of youth activism to promote democracy in Zimbabwe, while Orange Doo is a research company.

Citizens Manifesto is an organisation which represents various constituencies from labour, civil society, the church, faith-based organisations, students, youths, women, rural and urban.

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