Development policy & practice: making use of population census data in Zimbabwe

Type Book
Title Development policy & practice: making use of population census data in Zimbabwe
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2014
his book is a collection of 8 chapters examining and discussing development policy and practice in Zimbabwe. Most of the papers base their arguments from results of the 2012 population census.
In the first chapter of this book, Jacob Mugumbate explores some forms of exclusion as reflected in the National Census Report for 2012. Exclusion is the sum total of forms of disadvantage and marginalisation placed on certain groups of people in society. As a social phenomenon, exclusion is mirrored in our everyday lives. It reflects in the streets and villages we walk. The face of exclusion is poverty, itself a reality we encounter every day in Zimbabwe. Evidence of exclusion seems not hidden; it exists even within the armpits of government. The report has glaring evidence of exclusion including: the illiterate 4%, the 11% assumed to be unemployed, those dying below 38 years (life expectancy), women, the disabled, the unmatched 7%, the orphaned, the elderly 4%, the rural 67%. For this chapter, the author focused on the illiterate, the unemployed, the elderly, persons with disabilities, women, rural people as well as mortality issues.
In the second Chapter Obadiah Dodo and Tafadzwa Dodo explore youths and unemployment in
Zimbabwe. Just like most developing economies the world over, Zimbabwe is in a state of transition from near death to recovery. During this phase, it is expected that the economy recovers and be able to create employment for most of its needy citizens. Presently, Zimbabwe’s unemployment rate stands at over 85% and literacy rate at over 92% even though the population census of 2012 gave an unemployment figure of only 11%. While there is talk and policy on paper regarding black indigenous economic empowerment, there has also been an influx of immigrants who have along the way grabbed some of the empowerment opportunities much to the disappointment of local citizens. It is this ‘disappointment’ that has motivated this study which endeavours to analyse the relationship between unemployment and potential conflict in Zimbabwe. The discussion is a product of an intensive desk research which unravelled various policy papers including the 2004 Zimbabwe Labour Force Survey (LFS) and archival literature using constant comparison method. The study established that while poverty may lead to conflicts, there should be other influences supporting. However, in respect to Zimbabwe, the hypothesis may not really manifest due to the following factors amongst others; lack of a willing tool, lack of a culture of violence, levels of literacy and economic empowerment and tolerance driven by ‘unhu’.
Chapter 3 examines population in rural areas. In this chapter, Francis Maushe looks at the growth point policy. The recent statistics from the Zimbabwe Statistical Agency (ZimStats) revealed that the population in the rural areas had increased by two percent between 2002 and 2012. People are seemingly moving to the rural areas from urban areas, which is an anomaly. This is so because migratory trends worldwide indicate that people normally move from rural to urban areas in search of better living standards, economic well-being, employment and educational opportunities. According to the ZimStats, (2012) census statistics, about 33 percent of the population was in the urban areas. The distribution of the population reside in the communal lands and resettlement areas. This phenomenon could be linked to the resettlement of over 200 000 households during the land reform programme which has led to the development of new communities within the rural areas and has attracted labour from urbanites grappling with a shrinking industry. According to the Sunday Mail May 18-24 2014, official figures show the number of people residing in urban areas increased from 26 percent in 1982 to 31 percent in 1992 and 35 percent in 2002. The trend is now suffering a reversal with the percentage of people living in rural increasing significant between 2002 and 2012. Rural migration figures revive calls for growth point investment. The growth point policy is a long forgotten initiative, the government should
undertake a major evaluation exercise of all the rural growth points in order to be able to formulate revival strategies based on a current resources inventories.
In the 4th chapter of the book, Lenah Ruparanganda looks at water and sanitation in urban Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe over the past decade (2004-2014) has seen a continued deterioration in its water and sanitation system as evidenced by persistent erratic water supply services, long distance walk to nearest water sources, increased open defecation, open dumping of waste and continued burst sewer pipes. Local Authorities and ZINWA form the major bodies charged with the mandate to manage water and sanitation services. These are guided by legislative instruments such as the Water Act of 1998 and ZINWA Act of 2000. The effectiveness and efficiency of the two bodies and legislative instruments in alleviating the situation remain an issue for debate. The Zimbabwe 2012 National Census Statistics reflects that 75% of the households in Zimbabwe have access to safe drinking water. This paper provides contextual analysis of the 2012 National Census Report on the country’s water and sanitation situation. Focus is on explaining the urban and rural water and sanitation supply trends, challenges faced by households and gaps in current water and sanitation supply system. Findings are based on secondary review method. The key findings reflect that access to clean and safe water varies
by season and is greatly reduced during water rationing periods in both rural and urban areas. Hence, households when faced with compromised access to water and sanitary conditions, resort to negative coping strategies which include open defecation and use of unprotected water sources. Lack of comprehensive water management policy, funding problems, lack of political will and inadequate infrastructural support services form some of the commonly cited reasons for the deteriorating situation. Some of the recommendations include the need for comprehensive policies, financing strategies and garnering political will so as to effectively deal with problems.
Monica Zembere examines relationship between literacy and constitutional knowhow in Zimbabwe in Chapter 5. She uses a cross sectional overview of the relationship between literacy rate in Zimbabwe and constitutional literacy in Mashonaland Central Province. The central argument in this chapter is that although Zimbabwe has the highest literacy rate of 96% in Africa, there is an apparent contradiction between literacy rate in the country and constitutional literacy in Mashonaland Central. This study was conducted using a descriptive survey design. This method was chosen because it allows the use of a representative sample from a population and that it allows the researcher to handle a larger number of respondents within a given period. A
survey was conducted on conveniently selected three districts of Muzarabani, Mazowe and Mbire. The population consisted of eight hundred and forty respondents aged between fifteen years and above purposively drawn from the three districts. The age group selected for study has been influenced by the census results of 2012 because that was the same age group where the country’s literacy rate was drawn from. The researcher employed interviews, and documentary analysis to gather data for the research. Overall, this research revealed that the majority of those who voted in the referendum in 2013 did not know the contents of the document they were voting for, and therefore concluded that higher literacy rate does not translate to constitutional literacy. Based on these findings, it was recommended that constitutional studies be introduced in primary and secondary schools as a subject rather than having selected topics infused in History and Geography.
The sixth chapter by David Makwerere and Frank Chiwada looks at empowerment in Zimbabwe. The first decade of the 21st century in Zimbabwe saw the purportedly nationalist government embarking on sweeping agrarian and empowerment reforms of a national scale. Different schools of thought have been put across to explain the developments. Other scholars have attributed the initiatives to political grandstanding by the ZANU-PF government whilst others have seen it
as a genuine approach towards transforming the remnants of the colonial structures that were both a source of conflict and a source economic discrimination. The paper focused on the National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act which was promulgated in 2007. The focus of the paper was on the effectiveness of the initiative as a conflict transformation tool. An analysis of the process so far has indicated that the process is being seriously hamstrung by political manipulation, corruption and lack of a sustainable model to take the process to the desired levels. If properly administered, the process can effectively benefit from the vast human resource capital that the country has produced over the years as well as the vast mineral resources that are at the disposal of the country. The process can be an effective conflict transformation tool as it attempts to initiate a process of structural transformation in the name of economic empowerment.
In Chapter 7, Emmaculate Ngwerume writes about housing in urban Zimbabwe. She argues that Zimbabweans have endured the problem of decent housing in urban areas ever since the colonial times when most of the urban spaces were ‘reserved’ for the white race. With the attainment of independence in 1980 and the subsequent liberalisation of these urban spaces, urban areas have now become overpopulated such that the independent government is under increasing pressure
to provide decent accommodation and humane living conditions to the majority of the urban dwellers. Compounding this situation has been the series of policies, both domestic and foreign that the government has adopted ever since 1980. The lack of effective strategic planning and leadership has compromised the development of the country to a greater extent. This has resulted in accelerated deterioration of service provision in a manner which has reduced the majority of the urban inhabitants to the status of ‘destitute’ even though they may have a roof above their heads. According to the 2012 National Census Report, house owners constituted 59% of the population while the remainder were either lodgers or tenants. 56% of the households had dwelling units without electricity, only 38% of households had their main source of water on their premises and only about 33% of households mostly used flush toilets. It is, therefore, imperative to explore this existing gap in housing provision since there is a specific Ministry (Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing) that has been in existence right from the time of independence. This conceptual analysis also seeks to ascertain the extent to which the current economic blueprint, the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZIMASSET) addresses this thorny issue. The discourse on Human Security shall largely inform this discussion.
In the 8th and final chapter, Edmos Mtetwa discusses disability issues in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe’s Disabled Persons Act defines a disabled person as; a person with a physical, mental or sensory disability, including a visual, hearing or speech functional disability, which gives rise to physical, cultural or social barriers inhibiting him from participating at an equal level with other members of society in activities, undertakings or fields of employment that are open to other members of society. Despite being one of the first countries in the world to enact Disability Discrimination Legislation, Zimbabwe has not developed necessary administrative infrastructure for its effective implementation. Despite having the Disability Act, there are no formal policies and implementation strategies in place to ensure the Act’s enforcement.
From exclusion to unemployment, constitutional literacy, housing, disability, empowerment and rural development, this book tackles important issues that are helpful for scholars, researchers, lecturers, implementers, advocates and policy makers in social science. By focusing on the results of the population census, the book provides an evidence based perspective which is now the preferred route in development.

Related studies