SIVIO Institute has responded to an article that was issued by the ruling ZANU PF that dismissed the institute’s claims that President Emmerson Mnangagwa had only achieved 2% of the pledges he made in 2018. Pinduola News presents SIVIO Institute’s response to ZANU PF’s article.
We were excited to learn that ZANU PF had responded to an article that cites the work that we do. However, we were disappointed with the allegations and claims about us being a fake organisation. We do exist, we are registered according to the laws of Zimbabwe, we pay taxes – just like any other registered and compliant institution and surely if they had cared to check they would have come across our website (www.sivioinstiute.org). Unfortunate as it may be, we still believe that this is still an opportunity for us to engage with the ruling party based on the commitments they made in 2018 as part of the electoral promises that led to their victory and also now running government.
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In this article, we propose to explain what we do as an organisation and how the tracker works. In explaining the tracker we will expose how ZANU PF missed out on the positive side in terms of the progress made by ZANU PF. Whilst the emphasis of the news articles that have come out based on the information from our tracker portrays a lack of progress by ZANU PF in terms of converting promises into policy actions, our tracker actually acknowledges some of the positive work that has been done (https://zimcitizenswatch.org/
About SIVIO Institute
SIVIO Institute was established in an environment of heightened partisan polarisation. We acknowledge that public debate has in many instances been partisan, and in the process, evidence has either been manipulated to service a partisan agenda or totally disregarded. We remain non-partisan; we are not sold out to any political party’s agenda, but we are here to promote Zimbabwe. We think there is need to build common ground for a better Zimbabwe and all of us have a role in it. Our legitimacy cannot be determined at the level of whether people agree with us or not. We have since establishment carried out objective analysis based on either field surveys or utilisation of technology to analyse how the government is performing and produced a number of important reports which can actually help shape the national discourse. Our quest at SIVIO is for an inclusive society, and we believe that government plays a huge role in ensuring that there is inclusion in our society. This inclusion has to do with equitable access to public goods – health, education and it also has to do with how policies are made ensuring that citizens are engaged in the formulation, design and even the implementation of policies. One of the things we push is something we call “government with citizens” rather than “government for citizens”; so in it, we emphasise the 3 C’s. These are – Co-creation, Collaboration and Co-production. We believe that globally (including Zimbabwe) governments have faced a myriad of challenges that they cannot fix on their own and these challenges are what we call “wicked” problems. Here in Zimbabwe, there are so many challenges that government cannot fix on its own. A good example is the COVID-19 pandemic that we face. A government alone approach will not resolve this problem. But back to the tracker.
The Methodology of the Tracker
As already stated, when we were looking at the process leading to the elections of 2018, every political party came up with a political manifesto. We took those manifestos and we disaggregated them by theme – we separated them according to 8 thematic clusters. ZANU PF at that time had made 240 promises in their manifesto, which we then separated into clusters as per the figure below:
Even before establishing www.zimcitizenswatch.org, we established what we called the Zimbabwe Manifesto Analysis Tool (ZIMAT) which we used to analyse the extent to which political parties are different and the extent to which they agreed on certain issues.
We wrote an article in the Zimbabwe Independent – (see https://www.theindependent.co.
Fast forward, after the elections and the inauguration of President Mnangagwa as the president of the Republic of Zimbabwe, we then took those promises and put them on to www.zimcitizenswatch.org and we began to track progress. We track progress on 4 things – progress on promises where government has started doing something about that promise; promises where government has had to modify when they came into power; broken promises- where government has broken the promise that was made in the manifesto and finally promises that are complete. We have to understand that the policy-making work or anything to do with government, does not happen overnight. What the media always catches from our reports is the fact that the completed promises are always few. That is unfortunate. We have no control over how people treat our data. Our analysis shows that out of the total promises made government has made progress on 182 (77%). However, before that figure is also used for political spin we would like to emphasise that quite a number of those actions are at launch stage-meaning that the President or one of his ministers has launched a new policy or initiative but it is yet to be implemented fully. Another note on completion- we have recorded successes such as the repaving of the Beitbridge to Chirundu highway but as all can attest that work is in progress. We think that both ZANU PF and analysts should focus more on progress made and where possible on fixing broken promises given the fact that the ZANU PF government term has not yet ended. For us, this is another opportunity for ZANU PF to engage not only in raising threats or delegitimizing the work of others but actually engaging in a debate on how they see progress from their perspective. It could also be an opportunity for ZANU-PF and government to correct us if they think we missed out on our tracker. Information is not always readily available. We are very confident of the accuracy of our data but there is always a margin of error especially where government departments/units are not always forthcoming with information. Most of the information we have on the tracker is gathered from the Post Cabinet briefings made by the Minister of Information and also from various news articles.
Why are we doing this?
We believe that democracy is not just about elections; democracy is about the everyday lived realities of our citizens. It is important for us to continue with this work after elections to track the extent to which government is making good on their promises. We are not alone in this; ZANU PF also tracks its work; we note that it has been tracking its parliamentary agenda and showing the progress that it has made and there are many others. In Nigeria there is the Buharimeter (https://www.cddwestafrica.
We hope that based on this we can have objective discussions and debates on where we are going as a country and applaud progress where it has been made and where there are corrective measures we can find ways not only for the ruling party but as a country, as a people. We need a new consensus to move beyond partisan focused discussion but to focus on the national question. We hope that this puts to rest some of the issues that were raised in the article attributed to Ambassador Simon Khaya Moyo.