Accessible and affordable education
An assessment using social indicators in my view proves that the government of Zimbabwe has indeed failed to meet basic fundamental human needs. For example in the education sector, the Public Service, Labor and Social Welfare committee was informed in July 2014 by the principal director in the ministry that for BEAM the education ministry got $15 million instead of $73 million and the allocated budget assisted 83 000 against the targeted 250 000 vulnerable children. 167 000 children did not get support or access education and your guess is as good as mine on the fate of all these helpless children. The Committee was told that 75 percent of the more than two million people are in need of food aid and the government failed to provide assistance. I do want to talk about tuition fees paid by many young people at universities , education is now a privilege for the few not a right and some are even failing to supplement their ordinary due to unaffordability and others also it is lack of access as schools are sparsely populated.
Accessible and affordable health care
The healthcare has also failed to deliver accessible and affordability health service delivery. Giving birth in a government or municipal health facility costs between US$30 and US$50 per night and many people struggle to raise such huge amounts. These costs are prohibitive, leaving some women to give birth outside the health system and everyone knows the risks. In 2012 Parliament was informed that the maternal mortality ratio was 790 per 100 000 live births, compared with 390 per 100 000 in the 1990s. In the rural areas health facilities are sparsely populated, pregnant women walk long distances to receive pre-natal services and the chronically ill and the sick are also in the same predicament.
Clean water and sanitation
The conditions that allowed the cholera epidemic to flourish persist in Harare’s high-density suburbs and just a few weeks ago a cholera outbreaks was reported in Chiredzi district leading to temporary closure of port of entry. On 05 March 2015, 8 cholera cases were reported in Mudzi, Beitbridge and Chiredzi. Cities like Bulawayo and Gweru continue to face perennial water shortages and every year are marred with water shading. The government has not done anything meaningful to find a lasting solution to this problem save for efforts made during the inclusive government and other projects have stalled like the centenary Matabeleland Zambezi Water project.
Rights and protection
Various reports asserts that although cases of politically motivated murders have not been reported in 2014, but suspicious abductions and disappearances, torture and intimidation has been recorded raising fears from an ordinary persons to express themselves and exercise their political rights as the constitution guarantees those rights in chapter four. There are ongoing serious human rights abuses, including the selective application of the law, for example wanton land seizures from black indigenous locals in Matabeleland South guised as the land redistribution. There is also tight control of electronic media especially the public media. The government continues to stifle independency of the media and depriving citizens’ uncensored critical information on performance of government and its excesses.
A massive corruption scourge continues to hamper meaningful development in the country as billions of dollars leak behind the scenes in the illegal sale of diamonds, other precious minerals and shady deals by some government officials. Zimbabwe was ranked 156 out of 175 highly corrupt countries in 2014 Global Corruption Perception Index released by Transparency International. The political will has lacked from government to strengthen the Anti-Corruption Commission to fulfill its constitutional mandate.
The informal has increased and no clear policy has been promulgated to deal with it. Threats deal with vendors from the central government and local governments have been an order of the day. The sector is ever increasing, many people are now into vending and trading imported cheap products. The government has failed to put measures in place to produce primary products. Income levels remain low and the largest employer the civil service has a ballooning wage bill of over 80% from total revenue and disposal incomes continue to dwindle as government has failed to make meaningful salary adjustments.
By Michael Mdladla Ndiweni