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Sunday, April 18, 2021

Collective efforts are vital to curb inequality in Zimbabwe

Since the honeymoon period (immediate post liberation era) corruption, homelessness, low living wages, spousal abuse, militarism, environmental injustice, unfair public education, compromised welfare, human rights violations and violence has defined the state of Zimbabwe, yet the country is rich in ideology and potential to fix the socio-economic justice crisis. As long as these exist, the nation will continue to suffer an inherited debt and the disease of social and economic injustice, a virus which is currently bedevilling especially the young generation, crushing and shattering potential. Worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic which expanded the gap between the rich and the poor, it takes collective efforts to curb this inequality disease. Also, the multi-currency system formulated a huge gap between employees, whereby some are paid in local currency at a low value whilst a small percentage of the workforce is paid in the United State currency at a better value.

Inequality in the distribution of income displays the characteristics of a trend in Zimbabwe, having affected large numbers of people, from the poorest to the most affluent. There is also greater inequality in the distribution of remunerated employment, with worsening unemployment and underemployment in all parts of the country affecting a disproportionate number of people at the lower end of the socio-economic scale.

The goal of transparency and progressive taxation is to remedy income inequality which apparently causes Social injustices, because the standard of life one has is determined by how much the person or stakeholder of the family gets. Progressive taxation is vital to remedy income inequality and provide funds for all social services, public infrastructure and education, because economic issues facing the country and world economy at large require the pooling together of resources to fund collective actions towards the public good. For instance, in this covid-19 pandemic era it is not all children who are getting the access to online learning resources and tutorials which hence marks a very huge margin between the advantaged and the disadvantaged in terms of earnings. It has to be dealt with as this exacerbates social inequality amongst the victims of circumstance and the privileged. Progressive taxation that allows for public resources to be attained as a matter of human rights can then bridge the social and economic justice gaps

Scarcity of resources due to economic strains, very low incomes, unemployment especially amongst the youths who are the future of tomorrow, the leaders and forefathers of the nation, leads to stunt in everything because people then would not be knowing things like what to produce, how to produce, from whom to produce and what provisions are to be made for economic growth.

Equal access to opportunities and resources required to meet basic needs and develop fully. Equity in all spheres, access, participation and rights, Elevating wages for workers who have been earning lower wage. The goal is to create opportunities for all to thrive since prosperity and justice go hand in hand rather than in opposition to one another. Universal basic income, income equality by gender and race, equal opportunity for employment and credit, and allowing all to reach their full potential are all tenets social and economic justice.

A Debt Management Policy also needs to be established and followed, thus reclaiming the space and giving citizens a say around the debt that the government incurs on citizens’ behalf.

The economy will be more successful if it is fairer, hence more advocacy is required to entrench the principles of justice and equality. There is a need for change and everyone has a voice and a role to play. Everyone is an advocate and a Human rights defender. It is time for all patriotic Zimbabweans to link up and influence policies in pursuit of social and economic justice.

Evernice Tayisepi is a Development Practitioner, Feminist and Social and Economic Justice Activist. She holds a First-Class Bachelor of Arts Honours Degree in Development Studies, from Midlands State University. Her research interests revolve around Social and Economic Justice issues, Gender, Feminism and Human Rights.

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