A human rights organisation has described the government’s National Development Strategy 1 (NDS 1) as insulting and insensitive after the government’s document mentioned that “most youth in Zimbabwe have not embraced the culture of hard work and the principle that hard and honest work pays”.
Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) in a commentary on the NDS 1, the statement reveals the kind of condescending attitude that the Government holds towards its people and youth.
ZimRights says, “In a country, where young peoples’ hopes have been diminished to naught because of poor economic performance, high levels of corruption and political malfeasance it becomes difficult to understand how such analysis is reached and even approved by a Government that says it wants to get its people out of poverty.”
“It is almost as if the Government lives in its own world and it sees its young people as a lot that is irresponsible, reckless, useless, lazy and dishonest. Without a change in such an attitude, it is difficult to fathom a change or an achievement of better results as envisaged in the NDS1 for the youth of Zimbabwe.”
ZimRights also disputed the NDS 1 situational analysis towards the Zimbabwean youths.
“It is not clear what the words “hard work” and “honest work pays” especially in a country where there is 90% unemployment and the bulk of corruption cases are alleged to be committed by very senior politically connected individuals in the Government and or the ruling party,” reads the ZimRights commentary.
“The average age range of those that are known publicly to have been involved in ‘dishonest work’ fall far from the poor.”
Statistics show that in 2019, 19% of people in informal employment were in the age group of 20-40 years of age.
The NDS 1 situation analysis on youths reads;
“It has been noted that most youth in Zimbabwe have not embraced the culture of hard work and the principle that hard and honest work pays.”
“During the NDS1 Period, there is need to develop a mental construct for the youth in respect of the importance of hard honest work and that development in other countries has been as a result of this most productive and most energetic group in society.”
The government is not the only one to question its citizens work ethics, in 2018 a billionaire’s wife Tsitsi Masiiwa was forced to apologise on social media after posting statements that were deemed to imply that Zimbabweans are lazy.