Workers’ Day a huge flop

Yesterday’s Workers’ Day commemorations held at various centres around the country were marked by low turnout, a development analysts believe reflects the prevailing unemployment crisis in Zimbabwe.


The unemployment rate in the country is estimated at over 80%.

In Harare, where the main event was held at Gwanzura Stadium, less than 1 000 people turned up, a completely different picture from massive attendances witnessed in previous years.

Back then, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) was a powerful body which saw its secretary-general Morgan Tsvangirai rise politically to become the country’s Prime Minister four years ago.

The other workers’ umbrella organisation, the Zimbabwe Federation of Trade Unions (ZFTU) led by Zanu PF’s Alfred Makwarimba, abandoned the festivities altogether, saying there was nothing for workers to celebrate.

At Raylton Sports Club also in the capital, the Lovemore Matombo-led ZCTU faction held its May Day commemorations where only about 500 people attended.

In Mutare, those that attended the event at Sakubva Stadium were so few they were all easily accommodated in the VIP section of the stadium. The festivities were organised by the George Nkiwane-led ZCTU.

ZCTU deputy secretary-general Unganai Tarusenga, who was the guest of honour, said the numbers reflected the collapse of local industry.

“This (poor attendance) is really in conformity with our thinking. We expected the gathering to be like this and, as you know, companies are closing down and there is no industry to talk about,” said Tarusenga.

In Masvingo, about 200 people attended the commemorations organised by the Nkiwane faction of the ZCTU at Mucheke Stadium while some 100 others aligned to the Matombo faction gathered at Masvingo Civic Centre.

The situation was much the same in Kwekwe where an estimated 100 people gathered at Prince Park to mark the day.

The town has witnessed massive job losses in recent years.

Zimbabwe Chemical and Allied Workers’ Union president Solomon Nyati said workers had lost dignity and self-respect as a result.

“We have untold suffering at Ziscosteel, Sable Chemicals is struggling and so are Zimasco and Dyno Nobel. These companies used to sustain over 5 000 workers, but today they employ a combined total of less than 2 000 and less than 100 of them earn above poverty datum line salaries,” he said.



  1. Ko mafactions ayo ndeeyi? Tsve zvekumirira vashandi then moshandiswa nema political principals enyu. When MDC went into the inclusive GVT, it signalled the death of ZCTU which was once a vibrant worker representative body. The ministry of labour payakapiwa ku MDC then ZCTU was passified. The ZCTU leadership could not stand up to one of their own. Otherwise the whole labour union workers body is not about workers themselves, its about politics and lining up individual pockets. If that ministry was still Zanu run, I bet ZCTU yaidai ichiri vibrant. Its important to learn from ANC COSATU alliance which is based on genuiness. COSATU dosent lose focus on its mission because of this alliance. Remember in 2011 they paralyized gvt business in SA after they called for srikes regardless of the fact that they were in an alliance to get Zuma in office. Wake up ZImbos.

  2. hazvina basa tanga tichitengesa majuice card ezesa

  3. Frank Taedza

    Its common sense,what were expecting idiots? A huge turnout?.To celebrate factionalism?Do u really have workers at heart?If so explain the insulting wage that u recently gazetted for those workin 6am to 6pm on farms?.$65/month?.I think this country needs another resettlement exercise to hav every individual on his or her own piece of land.I wonder what wil happen to the GDP?

  4. Zctu is a political org,yatisingade isu vashandi.

  5. you say its 20percent yevanhu vari pabasa then you expect more people to your factions vanobvepi?

  6. isu tisina employer totorova basa redu muchinopemberera kudzvinyirirwa nevaridzi ve makambani

  7. Zvima China zvenyu zvatiuraya kushandisa vanhu zvisiri pamutemo,no safety,poor remuneration,accomodation,plus hudzvanyiriri ndonyika yacho here???Workers Union mbwa dzevanhu hamuna chamunoziva kungotora mari dzedu neku conniver nema employers echiChina kubira vanhu mari especially mu Brick n Clay makafa ma Union imbwa dzevanhu.Dai muri mbudzi takakuurayai kudhara.Dhemeti kuuraya nyika yedu yechipikirwa nguva yehondo taicheka miromo nenzveve zvimbwasungata zvevanhu.Hatichada zvima Union zvenyu mu Zimbabwe.

  8. Mu Brick n Clay industry hatichada chiUnion chenyu kunge ma China ekuna Old Mazowe na Douglas Mudzi mauraya company.4 3years u hv failed 2 represent workers n yet u scheme private meetings wit our employer zvino taneta newe Mudzi nembwanana dzako dai muri vamwe ths month morega kuzotora mari coz tichasvitsana kwamvura yacheka makumbo.Pliz if thers anyone who cn connect us to the media or responsible authorities dze labour or those tat deal ne safety issues dai mauya mationerawo tanzwa nekudzvinyirirwa nema China.Plz SOS

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