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of the baseline study on the situation of coloured people in Zimbabwe
Association for the Advancement of Mixed Race Coloureds (NAAC)
October 29, 2003
97 version (716KB)
National Association for the Advancement of Mixed Race Coloureds
(NAAC) in Zimbabwe is a fledgling organization that was formed in
March 2001 with the assistance of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation
(FNF). Its driving principles are recognition, acceptance and advancement
of the mixed race Coloured minority in Zimbabwe as a basis for laying
a solid foundation for the future of Coloured children. Thus soon
after its formation, NAAC went into partnerships with the donor
community in order to fulfill its mandate. This baseline study is
a product of one such partnership with the Canadian International
Development Agency (CIDA). It must be stated here that this baseline
study was the brainchild of the Youth Committee of NAAC and is the
first major study under the auspices of NAAC since its inception.
The Base Period
baseline study was conducted over a period of three months stretching
from March 2003 to May 2003 in the major centres/towns of Zimbabwe.
Objectives of the Baseline Study
driving aims and objectives of this baseline study were to establish
the socio-economic and socio-political condition of Coloured people
in post-independent Zimbabwe. This became imperative given the long
history of neglect and marginilisation by both the colonial and
post-colonial governments. Based on the findings and the recommendations
of the study, NAAC sought to initiate action-programmes aimed at
addressing some of the problems that continue to haunt the Coloured
community by engaging not only the donor community, but central
government, the private sector and other well wishers.
number of methods were used in this baseline study. Historical research
was carried out in order to situate the study into context. Fieldwork
research was also embarked upon in some selected towns and cities
of the country where there is a good concentration of the Coloured
community. A questionnaire was used as the key research instrument
and a total of 550 respondents (2% of the total Coloured population),
randomly selected, were interviewed. The target population was the
head of the household, community and opinion leaders, business people
and the elderly who were assumed to be more knowledgeable about
the community. Data was also collected through focus group discussions
as well as through interviews with selected key informants.
/ Results of the Baseline Study
following were the key findings / results of the study:
the preliminary results for the 2002 Population Census show that
the current Coloured population stands at about 32 000, this figure
could be double, given the politics of figures in most population
census the world over. The 550 respondents interviewed therefore
represent about 2% of the total Coloured population in Zimbabwe.
Harare and Bulawayo provided about 60% of the respondents because
of the large concentrations of Coloured people in the two cities.
Slightly more than half of the respondents (51.4%) were married.
of the households were male-headed while 38% were female-headed.
The proportion of female-headed households was therefore found to
be higher than the national figure of 20%. It was also established
that the majority of the respondents had 2 to 3 children per family
while about 27% of them had other dependents to look after besides
their own children.
majority of the respondents had at least secondary education (Ordinary
level) while very few had either professional or tertiary education.
Men tended to have higher educational/professional qualifications
compared to women. Again it also emerged that very few children
were receiving tertiary education.
of men were employed as artisans while the majority of women were
employed as secretaries. A large proportion of women (23%) were
unemployed with at least 16% of them being housewives. The majority
of the respondents (70%) were in the
Z$11 000- Z$100 000 gross monthly income bracket with only 17% earning
over Z$150 000 per month, figures far below the rate of inflation.
The study also shows that the major sources of income (other than
from principal employment) are pensions, vending and remittances
from abroad as well as contributions from children.
56% (272) of the 550 respondents interviewed owned property with
47.6% of these having purchased the property, compared to 8.4% who
inherited it. This high proportion of property ownership is mainly
because the target group was the head of the household. 90% of this
property was in the form of a flat or house.
study established that about 83.4% do not own land in Zimbabwe and
that most of them do not have a rural home. In reference to the
land reform exercise in Zimbabwe, 95.3% said they did not benefit
from the exercise while 88% of them indicated that given the chance,
they would like to have a rural home.
and Migration Patterns
Coloureds (68%) could not trace their genealogy beyond their grandparents.
95.7% of these grandparents were Coloured with 88% of them having
been born in Zimbabwe, 4% in South Africa and the remainder in either
Mozambique, Zambia, Botswana, Malawi and the United Kingdom. Emigration
was equally high among the Coloured community mainly due to the
deteriorating economic environment with about 43% leaving for the
United Kingdom, 9% for Canada, another 9% for New Zealand with the
remainder spread all over continental Europe and the Southern African
study shows that most respondents (77%) had no problem with being
identified as Coloured. However, a good number (74%) were worried
that the stereotyping that goes with the term 'Coloured' has led
to a bad image of the Coloureds. The other thorny issue was the
Double Zero (00) classification on Coloured national identity documents.
Most felt that this classification should be changed as it stripped
them of their Zimbabwean citizenship. With regards to culture, about
47% followed Western (white) culture while 44% followed both Western
and African culture.
study found out that AIDS was taking a toll on the community with
deaths averaging 0 to 3 per family. 72.3% knew of friends and relatives
who were living with HIV/AIDS. While 68.9% indicated that they had
not attended any AIDS workshop/discussion, they were quite aware
of the different ways in which AIDS is contracted, chief among them
being sexual promiscuity. Of those who attended such discussions,
none of them mentioned or knew of the National Aids Counsel of Zimbabwe
(NACZ) notwithstanding that they make financial contributions to
this institution through the aids levy contribution.
study shows that most Coloured women faced the problem of access
to education, seed capital, food, health and lack of support from
central government. Spousal abuse was also an issue of concern among
was a strong feeling (81.9%) that the future of Coloured youths
in Zimbabwe was bleak. Chief among the reasons cited for this included
low levels of education, systematic discrimination and systematic
exclusion from the mainstream socio-economic and socio-political
structures. There were also those who felt that bad company, bad
attitudes and lack of responsibility among Coloured youths tended
to limit their potential. However, there was a strong feeling that
given a conducive environment, Coloured youths had a bright future.
Way Forward for the Coloured Community
and food security were the main areas of concern where the Coloured
community expected the donor community, the private sector, central
government and other well-wishers to chip in with assistance. The
NAAC through advocacy and lobbying of the government expects the
land issue and the Double Zero (00) classification on Coloured identity
cards to be addressed. Members of the Coloured community also challenged
NAAC to concentrate on employment, youth empowerment and education.
The study shows that the condition of the Coloured person in Zimbabwe
has not changed much and that Coloureds still remain excluded from
the mainstream political and economic structures. The study also
shows that HIV/ AIDS awareness is low among the community and yet
the pandemic is prevalent. Spousal abuse ranked high among the problems
faced by Coloured women. Based on these findings, the following
were strongly recommended:
- Embark on
HIV/AIDS programmes through direct assistance.
- Empower youths
through training programmes and remedial education.
- Embark on
action-programmes that address problems faced by women and children.
the NAAC in a manner that will enhance its operational objectives.
In particular an information officer, advocacy officer, and a programme
officer should be engaged to provide the secretariat with the capacity
to pursue the objectives of the organisation.
Visit the NAAC fact
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