WHILE the government is pitching its latest economic blueprint ZimAsset as the panacea to the country’s economic woes, people in Mashonaland West province are neither knowledgeable nor persuaded that ZimAsset will revive the economy.
The alarming number of people not aware of ZimAsset in Mashonaland West was revealed in a snap survey report titled Knowledge, Attitudes and Perceptions towards the ZimAsset Policy in Mashonaland West Province launched recently by Zimbabwe Democracy Institute (ZDI).
The survey was conducted in July in 13 districts of Mashonaland West with a sample of 384 citizens 18 years or older.
According to the research’s key findings, only 44% of the total respondents were aware of the ZimAsset with the level of awareness higher amongst males (50%) than the females (48%).
Only 1% of the total respondents had read the policy document, while the main sources of information for ZimAsset have so far been national radio and television with 33% and 26% respectively.
A low 13% said ZimAsset is achievable, while 25% were pessimistic and 27% sceptical it would yield positive results by rescuing the country from its economic woes.
“Majority of respondents do not think that the ordinary citizens will benefit from ZimAsset. 42% describe the formulation process of ZimAsset as a top-down approach. 60% think that no adequate consultations were done in the formulation processes of ZimAsset,” reads the report.
“38 % against 16 % consider the policy to be a Zanu PF agenda more than it is serving national interests,the rest professed ignorance over the matter. 19% against 26% think that there is commitment and political will from the government to ensure ZimAsset succeeds, others are not informed to say anything about the matter. Only 9 % against 41% think that ZimAsset will succeed without external support whilst the rest are ignorant.”
ZDI said the Mashonaland West snap survey results are microcosmic of the bigger picture in Zimbabwe, which portrays a disconnect between the government and citizenry in policy making and implementation m lack of wide civic engagement.
“The survey findings reveal that citizens are neither knowledgeable nor convinced of the policy, especially that it has been unleashed on a system supported by disintegrating public and private institutions,” says ZDI.