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Zimcodd bemoans inequality in Zim

BY TAFADZWA MHLANGA

THE Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (Zimcodd) has bemoaned the lack of will by politicians to improve the standard of living for ordinary citizens resulting in the growing disparity between the haves and have-nots.

In a press statement released on Friday, Zimcodd said there were high levels of inequality in society where the poor grew poorer while the rich became richer.

According to the World Bank, extreme poverty in Zimbabwe is estimated to have risen from 29% in 2018 to 34% in 2019, an increase from 4,7 million to 5,7 million people.

The preliminary findings of Oxfam in Zimbabwe and the United Nations Development Programme inequality report reveals that in 2018, the richest 10% of Zimbabweans took 38,3%, while the bottom 50% of Zimbabwe accounted for 22% of the country’s total income.

Oxfam is an international confederation of 20 NGOs working with partners in over 90 countries to end the injustices that cause poverty.

“Inequality is increasingly becoming a cause of concern globally and Zimbabwe in particular. The disparities in access to equal opportunities and rights including health, education, water, sanitation, and information are too high to be ignored,”

“The rich are becoming richer whilst the poor are becoming poorer. The adverse effects of inequality on individuals and national development cannot be over-emphasised and there is generally no political will to change at all.”

The body also strongly believes that the austerity measures implemented in 2019 further enabled inequality to thrive, hence the economic challenges the country is facing.

“The austerity measures implemented in 2019 against the back drop of deep socio-economic woes did not help the situation; rather they cultivated an enabling environment for inequality to thrive,” Zimcodd said.

“Budget cuts in public service delivery in areas such as health, further relegated ordinary citizens to abject poverty. The huge tax burden as highlighted by the infamous 2% (electronic transaction) tax affects the rich and the poor disproportionately as it is the latter who feel the heat.” the body said
The body further lamented over the issue, saying that the 2020 National Budget did not address the issue of inequality, adding that the money allocated for the health sector was not enough to deal with the challenges being faced by the sector and directly affecting society.

“The 2020 budget offers no hope for tackling inequality. The fact that the word ‘social’ appears 39 times in the budget is not enough to convince the citizens that the social inequalities will be addressed. For example, the ZWL$5,8 billion health allocation constituting 9,9% of the government total revenue is way below that of the Abuja Declaration,” Zimcodd said.

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