by Tichaona Chifamba
HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- Provision
of jobs remains one of the most critical areas Zimbabweans want
addressed after the July 30 elections, with ordinary people also
demanding that cash should be readily available at the banks.
Just like in 2013 when they expressed hope that the new
government would address economic challenges, provide jobs and
spur development, they say the economy remains depressed and
needs to be revitalized.
For David Rangwani, who sells mobile phone recharge cards at
the intersection of two busy roads in the central business
district, the situation that prevailed prior to the 2013
elections still persists.
Rangwani told Xinhua on Monday that he is disappointed by the
performance of the current government in creating jobs and
providing social services.
"Nothing changed for the better over the last five years," he
"The only change was the removal of former President Robert
Mugabe from office last November, his replacement by President
Emmerson Mnangagwa, and reduction of police roadblocks."
"On a scale of zero to 10, I give the government two points
up to the time Mugabe left office.
"Most of the promises the party made, and all our
expectations, were not fulfilled," he said.
As one of its major promises during the 2013 election
campaign, the ruling Zanu-PF party had promised to create 2.2
However, not many jobs were created after the elections.
On the contrary, thousands lost theirs as companies took
advantage of a court ruling allowing them to terminate
employment contracts on three months’ notice.
Zanu-PF also pledged a nine percent GDP growth by 2018, from
4.4 percent then, but the current forecast puts the growth rate
at 4.5 percent for the year.
For this year’s elections, with Mnangagwa as its presidential
candidate, the ruling party’s central theme is "unite, fight
corruption, develop, re-engage, create jobs."
The party promises to focus on peace and security, freedom
and democracy, economic and public sector reforms, domestic and
foreign direct investment, job creation, consolidating land
ownership and security, beneficiation of raw materials,
infrastructure development and industrialization, among others.
Chrispen Marembo, an unemployed youth from Mbare, agreed with
Rangwani, saying nothing much had changed since the last
"The only major change is that for once Robert Mugabe is not
a presidential candidate in the coming elections.
"Everything else remains the same.
"There are no jobs, and cash shortages continue to affect a
lot of people who are not banked.
"Many people cannot even pay us for menial jobs such as
helping them carry their goods after buying them from the
market," he said.
University graduate Keith Nyamasvisva, 30, who runs a corner
store selling electronic gadgets, said he hopes more investors
would come into the country after the forthcoming elections.
"We hope after the election there is going to be an overflow
of investors from all over the globe.
"We also hope that there will be an end to the cash crisis
and also an end to the informal market," he said.
Nyamasvisva, who failed to get a job after graduating, also
complained at the high rate of unemployment, which has resulted
in many people turning to vending.
He added that local authorities should also improve service
delivery and rehabilitate the roads that are now riddled with
Florist Itai Muzunza also spoke on the economy.
He said the new government should work hard to end the cash
crisis and reopen industries.
"If companies are revived it means jobs will be created.
"If you look around ... you will see that the roads are
full of people who are literally doing nothing," he said.
"It is difficult to move around because vendors have clogged
the roads and pavements."
Musician Obert Madziva said the coming-in of a new political
order following Mugabe’s ouster had brought hope for a better
future among Zimbabweans.
"Mnangagwa has done well in terms of fighting corruption and
minimizing police roadblocks.
"He has also given more freedom to opposition parties which
are campaigning freely in once no-go areas," Madziva said.
"Let us hope that the promises he is making now will come to
fruition if he wins the elections."
Zanu-PF faces the challenge of the MDC Alliance, which is
fronted by 40-year-old Nelson Chamisa and pledges to "make
Zimbabwe an inclusive, socially just, prosperous, tolerant,
transformative, modern, advanced, efficient and democratic
developmental state in which people have equal opportunities to
pursue happiness by 2023 -- making Zimbabwe a jewel of Africa."
Chamisa has also promised employment creation and upgrading
of infrastructure if he is elected into office.