Inequality gap between poor, rich widening

  • Exposure to opportunities main cause for widening gap between poor, rich
  • Rich becoming richer and the poor, poorer
  • Extreme poverty in Zim jumps from 29 percent in 2018 to 34 percent in 2019

ZIMBABWE Coalition on Debts and Development (Zimcodd) last week revealed that imbalances in terms of rights, statuses and opportunities had widened the gap between the rich and poor.

In a communique, Transparency International Zimbabwe spokesman Tashinga Zamba said rising inequality had not only harmed society’s income growth but had also increased the gap between the rich and poor.

Zamba said the expanding gap between the rich and poor had more than widened the gulf in incomes and wealth in Zimbabwe.

According to a statement by Zimcodd, inequality had resulted in numerous adverse effects.

The rich are becoming richer, while the poor are becoming poorer,” noted the statement.

According to the World Bank, extreme poverty in Zimbabwe is estimated to have risen from 29% in 2018 to 34% in 2019, which is an increase from 4.7 to 5.7 million people.

Oxfam, a Non-Governmental Organisation that deals with poverty-related issues, in 2018 reported that Zimbabwe’s top-rich 10 percent owned
about half the country’s wealth.

The statement also revealed that austerity measures implemented last year against the backdrop of deep socio-economic woes did not help alleviate poverty in Zimbabwe.

The communique further noted that budget cuts in public service delivery areas had relegated ordinary citizens to abject poverty.

Meanwhile, the World Inequality Database has revealed that the top 10% in Zimbabwe took 33.8% of the total income, compared to a global average of just over half(52.1%), while the bottom 50% of Zimbabwe’s population accounted for just 22% of income.

The statement noted that in healthcare services, for instance, poor rural areas were said to lack adequate healthcare, including access to water and sanitation.

Zimbabwe Council of Churches spokesman Paul Gwese said despite the commonality of Public Private Partnerships in the health sector, their effectiveness wass yet to be realised.

Gwese said hyperinflation against stagnant salaries had drastically eroded citizens’ already pathetic disposable income.

Meanwhile, gender economic inequalities are said to be disepowering women.

According to the United Nations Development Programme, Zimbabwe ranked 126 out of 162 countries in gender inequality index 2018.

Zimcodd is a non-governmental organisation working with Transparency International Zimbabwe, ZCC, including Youth Empowerment and Transformation Trust to fight against inequality.

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