Some Zimbabweans say it is impossible to eradicate poverty in the country due to lack of sound economic policies and general poor governance, among several other issues.
These sentiments came out at a poverty reduction workshop convened by the government held in Chinhoyi, Mashonaland West province, which was attended by villagers, state officials, civic society leaders and other stakeholders.
Ngonidzashe Masotsha, who travelled all the way from Kariba for the meeting, said bad governance and lack of sound economic policies were the main causes of poverty in the country.
Masotsha cited South Africa and Kenya as an example saying that it has been proved that good governance usually results in good management of the economy.
Masotsha said leaders will be accountable if the country's laws and sound policies are followed.
Masotsha’s sentiments were echoed by another participant, Benard Kapoya, who said Zimbabwean leaders should create opportunities and a conducive political and economic environment for people to realize their full potential.
Chinhoyi Council acting Town Clerk, Abel Gotora, also told the meeting that poverty alleviation in the city is being worsened by the government's failure to release funds for the needy supposed to be under some social welfare schemes.
Gotora said the government is even failing to pay local authorities for the services rendered.
Some of the participants also noted that poverty alleviation is also being affected by corruption and some politicians’ refusal to pay for water, electricity and other council levies.
Betty Biti was among participants who expressed such sentiments.
The participants further told the meeting that there is need for government to facilitate the funding of farmers, who play a critical role in boosting the capacity of households.
Provincial director of education, Sylvester Mashayamombe, said people should get good education in order for Zimbabwe to eradicate poverty.
Mashayamombe said the gains achieved after independence in 1980 are now being reversed as the education sector faces serious shortages of teachers and many schools are sub-standard.
He said there is a shortage one-thousand-two-hundred and forty Early Children Development teachers who are supposed to implement a new education system in Mashonaland West province alone.
Responding to participants’ remarks on poverty alleviation, Zvinechimwe Ruvinga Churu, acting Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Finance, said Zimbabweans should tighten their belts for difficult times ahead.
Residents resolved that there is need for strengthening governance and institutional capacity and to take environment and climate change seriously.