ZANU PF made 235 electoral promises in the run up to the 2018 polls, but only managed to keep only 13, less than a year to polls in 2023, a non-governmental organisation has claimed.
Independent policy research think-tank Sivio Institute has for the past four years been tracking the Zanu PF government’s policy implementation and monitoring progress on the 235 electoral promises made by Mnangagwa while campaigning ahead of the elections in 2018.
Sivio Institute said out of the 235 promises, only 13 had been implemented, while work on 185 of the promises is only starting, a few months before the country holds its next polls next year. The policy think-tank uses its online platform, the African Citizens Watch Policy Tracker to track the performance of African governments.
It tracked Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi’s performance based on the policy promises that the countries’ leaders made in their election manifestos and other key policy pronouncements.
In less than a year, Mnangagwa’s Zambian counterpart Hakainde Hichilema and his United Party for National Development (UPND) has so far implemented four of the 248 promises that he made in 2021, the tracker shows.
In about two years, Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera and his Malawi Congress Party-led government implemented 10 of the 186 promises made in 2020.
Sivio Institute executive director Tendai Murisa said the tracker was important to hold those in power to account.
“One of the important tenets of democracy is the effectiveness of the State,” Murisa said.
“It is against this backdrop that we have developed africancitizenswatch.org. This is a platform seeking to enhance the quality of democracy in different countries across Africa and contributes towards improved State delivery. This online tracking tool provides real-time information about the policy performance of governments.
“Our aim through this tracking process is to enhance public discussions and evidence-based advocacy for improved performance by governments. We also hope that this tracker will prompt governments to be more open and transparent around the implementation of policy actions and make public such information regularly available to the citizens who elected them to their positions.”
The majority of the 13 implemented pledges in Zimbabwe were on economic issues, whereby government made 111 promises to turn around the country’s ailing economy, but only implemented eight of the pledges.
Some of the 13 pledges that were fulfilled included fiscal discipline, accountability and transparency in the restoration of macro-economic stability and also that it would promote use of non-cash-based payment platforms, such as mobile and electronic payment systems.
Sivio Institute said government had also not yet made significant strides on some contentious issues affecting the economy such as corruption after failing to ensure non-interference by the Executive in the operations of constitutional bodies charged with combating corruption.
The tracker further states that government made 11 promises on governance, politics and civil rights, but managed to implement only one.
Mnangagwa’s government managed to set up a commission of inquiry on the August 1, 2018 shootings, but failed to uphold and apply fully the rule of law and ensuring equality before the law.
Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa yesterday dismissed the findings by Sivio Institute, describing them as biased.
“Clearly the Sivio Institute has blinkers of ideological bias,” Mutsvangwa said.
“It is a long shot that Sivio Institute could decide to overcome bias and prejudice and proceed to be objective and scientific in its survey. In the event, the Sivio Institute changes, then my ministry will facilitate their access to Honourable minister Joram Gumbo and his Ministry of Policy Co-ordination and Implementation.
“The Sivio Institute will get an opportunity to be availed ccurate information on the scintillating performance record and ardent delivery of projects by President ED (Emmerson) Mnangagwa and his Second Republic.”
Another political analyst Vivid Gwede said: “The initiative by Sivio Institute is important in ensuring accountability and evidence-based assessment of government performance. By all accounts, this is a dismal performance. We have spent four years of this government’s tenure and we are one year or less towards elections.”