MyZim 2014: where are we headed?

As the curtain falls on 2013, The Zimbabwean went onto the streets of Harare to ask people from all walks of life about their hopes and predictions for 2014.

Diton Makoni: There should be a tangible and practical fight against corruption.
Diton Makoni: There should be a tangible and practical fight against corruption.

The electoral process that led to the July 31election was generally peaceful, but the poll outcome raised more questions than answers. But most people now just want to get on with their lives and are looking to the Zanu (PF) government to deliver its election campaign promises and improve the economy and the general welfare of citizens.

Daiton Makoni (50), a labour unionist, said he expected government to improve roads, hospitals, water and electricity among other essential infrastructure.

“Concurrently with infrastructure development, government should create employment for the unemployed whose numbers continued to swell with thousands of youth leaving school and colleges. We expect government to prioritise revival of the local industry and farming activities for the country to at least cut on imports. There should be a tangible and practical fight against corruption in all sectors of the economy for the benefit of the economy,” he said.

Elisha Chigova (39), a unionist and Christian said: “2014 should see media reforms resulting in objective and non-partisan media houses. Propaganda churned out by polarised media misinformed people especially in the run up to the July elections. Consequently, the electorate failed to make informed decisions at the polls.

“Government should ensure Zimbabwe’s mineral resources benefit all citizens fairly, unlike the current situation whereby only a few accessed the huge share of the national cake while the rest wallowed in poverty. Despite being rated among the richest countries on the continent, Zimbabweans continued to cross borders in search of economic fortunes.

“As the downtrodden we expect government to address human rights issues in 2014 in line with provisions of the constitution. Human life should be kept sacred and we hope government would see sense and save ‘illegal’ houses from the proposed demolitions.

“I expect police to be more professional next year and give priority to fighting real crimes not expending energy on minor cases such as unlicensed street vegetable vending and manning roadblocks to ask for ZBC radio licences among other trivial issues.

“There must be state regulation of the conduct of the so-called charismatic churches which continued to milk parishioners of their hard earned money through ‘coerced’ offerings.

“Government should satisfactorily remunerate its workers such as nurses and teachers, for them to carry out their duties professionally,” he said.

Eurita Machiwana (31), a personal secretary said 2014 should see government and other stakeholders addressing issues to do with women and the girl child’s rights.

“Government must put its foot down as abuse of rights of women and the girl child continued to rise. Stiffer laws have to be put in place to tame domestic violence and other forms of abuse of women. Central government and local authorities must ensure service delivery is maintained as expected.

Shoddy water and electricity supplies left women and the girl child vulnerable to abuse as they would be expected to fill in the gap by either fetching water from distant places or replace power with firewood.

“Relevant government ministries should help ensure that the search for either grade one or form one school places does not expose parents to fraudsters who charge huge entrance test fees.

“With the recent Nyanga Road cash robbery carried out by people in police uniform fresh in our minds, government has to rise to the challenge and make sure the nation pays its hard earned tax towards support of trustworthy police. Dishonest police continue to resist displaying name tags bearing force number and names. They give wrong personal details to citizens with an issue to raise against them. Government should make it mandatory that all police on duty observe the name tag regulation.

“Given Zimbabwe’s abundant mineral resources, we expect government to address prevailing shortages of drugs and other basics at hospitals and clinics around the country. We remain convinced that health is every citizen’s right,” she said.

Bright Machiwanga (36) of Harare and an official with both the Premier Soccer League and the Zimbabwe Football Association expects government to provide direction to the country’s football bodies.

“The minister of Sport and Recreation should have a say in decisions taken by soccer controlling bodies that have a direct bearing on national pride. Nominations for posts at both ZIFA and PSL should come from the people to avoid such offices from being turned into careers for life by non-performing officials.

“The Sports Commission through its government and corporate world partners should be given a full mandate to fund-raise and provide sporting requirements to national teams and clubs representing the country at international tournaments.”

A dozen other people refused to be interviewed citing fear of victimisation by state security agents.

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