By Alois Vinga
THE Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development has challenged government to ensure the huge economic growth it reported recently corresponds with the welfare of the country’s citizens.
Government claimed the economy grew by 7,8% last year despite growing poverty levels.
Speaking to NewZimbabwe.com Business on the side-lines of the launch of three survey reports conducted by the coalition, ZIMCODD executive director Janet Zhou said the government has done so well on infrastructure development but said more needs to be done to alleviate poverty.
She also acknowledged that strides have been made on public transport saying while there is still a long way to go, the government is making efforts in purchasing buses and ensuring that the public transport challenges are addressed.
“However, there is a need for the government not to relax but to continue striving to ensure that optimum public transport is attained. The Energy sector has also witnessed positive steps towards strengthening power generation,” Zhou said.
“To this end, notable projects were witnessed: the expansion of Hwange Thermal Power Station Unit 7&8 to 600 MW among others. But power shortages and cuts are still being experienced across the country,” she said.
She said on Food and Nutrition Security, the report found that the recorded bumper harvest in 2021 did not reduce food poverty as economic, climate shocks and low adoption of climate-smart technology impinged food and nutrition security.
Zhou said the launched reports established that housing delivery is still wanting as the government failed to satisfy its targeted housing variables after various housing programs such as Dombotombo Flats, Bindura flats, Mufakose flats, Seke flats, Tynwald flats, and Mabelreign flats among others were stalled.
“On Social protection, the NDS1 Monitoring report found that poverty remains a menace in Zimbabwe given the increasing vulnerability compounded by COVID-19 induced shocks. Scaling the social protection spending goes a long way in addressing meagre social safety nets that do not alter the welfare of the vulnerable,” she said.
The ZIMCODD leaders said their surveys confirm that many local authorities are failing to implement the Auditor-General’s recommendations.
For instance, she said, out of the seven local authorities surveyed in Masvingo Province, five had implemented less than 50% of the recommendations while in Midlands Province about 67% of the recommendations were not implemented by surveyed local authorities.
During the event, three reports titled: Survey on the Implementation of Auditor General’s Recommendations by Local Authorities, Report of the Implementation of the AG’s Recommendations In Masvingo Province Local Authorities and the National Development Strategy 1 Monitoring Report were launched.
The Coalition also launched another report on the extractive sector in partnership with the Southern Africa Resources Watch (SARW).