INDEPENDENT candidate for Harare East constituency, Zechariah Mushawatu, says if elected he will advocate for the amendments of the Labour Act to ensure the retirement age in Zimbabwe becomes 60 years instead of the current 65 years.
BY VENERANDA LANGA
Mushawatu, a political science graduate from the University of Zimbabwe, said he was pushing for early retirement to create opportunities for thousands of qualified youths who were jobless.
“If I win, I strongly feel that there are issues that need to be addressed, especially high youth unemployment rates, where very educated graduates are failing to secure jobs,” he said.
“I am going to push for early retirement so that the retirement age can be brought down from 65 years to at least 60 years in order to create jobs for youths.”
Mushawatu, who is living with albinism, said he was going to advocate that lotions used by people affected by the condition be brought into the country duty-free.
“These albino lotions are very costly and people affected by the condition have to fork out at least $35 per month just to purchase lotions such as sunscreen lotion. Albino lotions must be supplied for free at every clinic and hospital so that those in rural areas can also benefit,” he said.
Mushawatu said if he won the National Assembly seat he would be the first person with albinism to sit in the Zimbabwean Parliament.
“I want to continue with the legacy of the late John Makumbe who was a very outspoken person living with albinism. He was firebrand and was one of the people that we looked up to,” he said.
Mushawatu said to assist his campaign for the Harare East seat, he was currently organising a fundraising dinner to be held on May 8 with tickets going for $35 for ordinary tables and $60 for VIP tables.
He said he would battle it out with Zanu PF candidate Mavis Gumbo, Transform Zimbabwe candidate Dore Dale and another independent candidate Farai Kuvheya.
“I am not scared by the Zanu PF candidate because their supporters are disgruntled,” Mushawatu said.
“They don’t want their candidate because she did not actually win during their primary elections. The person who had won, but was disqualified was Terrence Mukupe. Zanu PF supporters have vowed to defy their party and support me instead.”