Home » Governance » Economy – Take Action, Tsvangirai Rallies Workers

OPPOSITION MDC-T leader and former secretary general of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), Morgan Tsvangirai, has challenged workers to “take action” to end the country’s economic woes.

Delivering a solidarity message at Harare’s Gwanzura Stadium where May Day commemorations took place, Tsvangirai said Zimbabwe’s economic problems would worsen unless action was taken to end the rot.

“In brief, I believe in action. You must work up as young people. There is nothing that is going to be solved in this country without action,” Tsvangirai said without elaborating on the kind of action he had in mind.

He added: “Workers are being attacked at the workplace they are being attacked in their communities and they are being attacked in their families because there is nothing to eat.”

Zimbabwe’s economy was ravaged by nearly a decade-long meltdown blamed by critics on poor economic policies while President Robert Mugabe claimed the problems were the result of sanctions imposed by the West to punish his controversial land reforms.

After Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T joined hands with Mugabe’s Zanu PF party in a coalition government following disputed polls in 2008, the country’s economy marginally improved thanks, in large part, to the introduction of the multiple currency system the following year.

However, independent analysts and the opposition insist things are starting to get tough again for the majority of Zimbabweans as biting liquidity challenges continue and more companies are forced to shut down.

Said Tsvangirai: “What I only urge the leadership of the ZCTU in solidarity as the former secretary general is that … Zizi harina Nyanga (an owl does not have horns).

“Therefore the challenge that we have – all of us on behalf of the MDC on behalf of my colleagues former trade unionists – is that if we fail to solve the problems facing this country, no one is going to solve the problems we are facing.”

The former prime minister said the current problems could only be solved if people “pressurize the government to respond to the national crisis we face.”

Government’s statistics agency, Zimstats estimates indicate that sixty-five percent of Zimbabweans live on less than one dollar per day.

Independent economists and other groups say Zimbabwe’s unemployment rate is over 80% but the government disputes this, saying most people are now active, and employed in the informal sector.

Experts have blamed this on unfriendly policies adopted by Mugabe’s Zanu PF administration over the years. The Indigenisation law, first promulgated in 2007 is cited as one of the most investor unfriendly policies.

Last year, soon after the 31 July election results were announced, the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) ploughed new lows as investors weighed the negative effects of a Zanu PF election victory.

ZCTU president George Nkiwane said the economy was in a fragile state “and there are signs that we are reversing the gains that we got through the government of national unity.”

He said the country’s risk factor was still high with stagnant industrialisation and poorly capitalised markets.

Source : New Zimbabwe