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Report: Few Zimbabweans Aware of Economic Blue Print ZimAsset

Traders work at the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange in Harare, Aug. 6, 2013. The country's stock exchange lost more than $650 million in value after plunging 11 percent on its first trade following the announcement of the country's election results.

Results of a snap survey by the Zimbabwe Democracy Institute (ZDI) in Mashonaland West show that the majority of people in the province are not aware of the government’s economic blueprint, the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZimAsset) and that many consider it a Zanu PF agenda than a national policy.

In a report titled ‘Knowledge Attitudes and Perceptions Towards the ZimAsset Policy’ in Mashonaland West Province, ZDI said 472 people approached for the interview said they were totally ignorant of the policy while 384 who claimed to know something about the program were not significantly knowledgeable.

The level of awareness is high among males at 50 percent than females at 48 percent and is higher among the urban bloc at 56 percent compared to the rural areas at 46 percent.

According to the survey only one percent of the surveyed people had read the policy document and 13 percent believed it’s objectives are achievable.

Even though if it were practical, 25 percent doubt it would yield positive results or rescue the country from its economic problems.

Only 9 against 41 percent think that the ZimAsset will succeed without external support.

ZDI director Pedzisai Ruhanya told Studio 7 that the major finding of the survey was that government did not consult people, particularly those in rural areas, adding as a result it is difficult for people to embrace ZimAsset.

At least 75 percent of the respondents who don’t believe in ZimAsset’s ability to turnaround the economy suggested dealing with corruption and bad governance as the solution, with 59 percent recommending government reform, 45 saying removal of sanctions is the solution.

About 18 percent said placing Zimbabwe under the Southern African Development community curatorship is the way to go.

ZimAsset requires a $27 billion investment to thrive yet the country economy’s is producing only $3.6 billion.

Ruhanya said a strong recommendation coming from the survey is that government must engage civil society organizations and the citizenry in policy formulation and implementation.

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