Chipika, S. Chibanda and P. It was introduced in Zimbabwe in October , but started in March after a meeting with aid agencies and the World Bank in Paris. ESAP entailed the reduction of Government expenditure by retrenching 25 percent of the civil service, withdrawing subsidies, commercialising and privatising some state-owned companies and introducing user-fees in the health and education sectors, among others.

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The post-independence era in Zimbabwe witnessed a tremendous growth in education and health with many schools, colleges, hospitals and clinics built, professional staff employed, and a general expansion in demand. Nevertheless, the question of drug shortages and ever-increasing health care costs were not addressed. A deficient transport network, the increases in drug prices, the exodus of professional staff, the devaluation of the Zimbabwe dollar, and the cost recovery measures endangered the right to acceptable health care.

The social service cutbacks adopted by the government in education will deepen poverty. After independence, the Zimbabwean education system had a free tuition policy at primary school levels. Now that the government reintroduced school fees, a generation of illiterate and semi-illiterate school dropouts will grow up.

The social implications of this include increases in crime, prostitution, the number of street kids, the spread of diseases, and social discontent, which are the symptoms of a shrinking economy. As a result of the cost recovery measures, school enrollment in rural areas has gone up. Some urban parents have been forced to transfer their children to rural schools. Higher education also suffers, as government subsidies to colleges and universities have been drastically curtailed.

The budgetary cuts have grave repercussions for teaching and research, as poor working conditions and low morals of lecturers and students become prevalent.

Most wage-earning Zimbabweans' living standards have deteriorated as the cost of living continues to escalate, coupled with the cost recovery measures in the name of ESAP. This site needs JavaScript to work properly. Please enable it to take advantage of the complete set of features! Clipboard, Search History, and several other advanced features are temporarily unavailable.

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Stierle F, et al. Int J Health Plann Manage. PMID: Review. Flori YA, Kaddar M. Flori YA, et al. Show more similar articles See all similar articles. MeSH terms Africa Actions. Africa South of the Sahara Actions.

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The Social Impact of Cost Recovery Measures in Zimbabwe

Alex Sep 30, Teddy Brett and Simon Winter argue that Zimbabwe's ills cannot be blamed solely on economic structural adjustment programmes. Zimbabwe is experiencing a cumulative breakdown. How did this happen, and what can be done to prevent it from recurring?


Origins of the Zimbabwe crisis

Many politicians and economic leaders then generally believed that the low level of economic development in the s was due to the ideology of Marxist-Leninist socialism espoused by the ruling Zanu PF. Socialism was a highly popular and very powerful ideology. It was combined with the traditional religion, led in the s by influential spiritual leaders like Nehanda and Kaguvi, to form an ideology which was widely supported by the s freedom fighters. However, by the s, Zanu PF had become dominated by businessmen, who did not support socialism in any form, but believed the right path to economic growth was capitalism. The popular consensus was that capitalism was the right and only path. Just as there are different forms of socialism, there are also different forms of capitalism. For most freedom fighters of the s, socialism meant Africans would be able to enjoy the same rights and privileges as Europeans, with the removal of the Colour Bar.


Esap, 1990s-2000, 2018 to present (I)



‘ESAP was never ideal for Zim’


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