Trust a resilience builder for sustainable development in a disaster-prone district: Insights from Chimanimani rural district, Zimbabwe


  • Timothy Marango Research Council of Zimbabwe
  • Leonard Chitongo Department of Rural and Urban Development, Great Zimbabwe University


Sustainable development, Matare, Social Capital, Sankofa


Politics, social diversity and the current economic meltdown have divided citizens in Zimbabwe. Infrastructural, political and socio-economic growth in the first decade of independence was based on the generality’s trust in the newly-independent country’ institutional systems. However, corruption, non-transparency and failure to put in place systems of accountability have tainted the functionality of community and government institutional systems. This is a sign of a severe human factor decay. Government effort to build trust has been demonstrated through putting in place institutions to deal with corruption at various levels. A study was carried out in Chimanimani District to assess the level of trust of the Chimanimani community in 29 institutional systems. An exploratory design using descriptive statistics was utilised. A Likert-type questionnaire was used to collect data. Convenience and judgmental sampling were used to select 220 grassroots community people to participate in the study. Descriptive data analysis using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 19.0 for windows (SPSS Inc: Chicago, IL, USA) was used. The results revealed low a level of trust among individuals, households, government departments, council, civic society and political parties. The researchers concluded that little trust or no trust among individuals and institutions is the biggest disservice to resilience building and disaster management. Revisiting the traditional judiciary, decision making and social healing platforms such as matare to reorient those who provide service to communities is highly recommended. In fact, there is nothing shameful in going back to the African traditional past and modifying it to suit the current society (sankofa) which promoted trust for the resilience of both the family and society.