VENDORS’ associations and opposition parties yesterday vowed to join the protests against job cuts planned by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) this weekend.
BY MOSES MATENGA
The demonstrations, to be held simultaneously in all the country’s major cities on Saturday, are coming at a time over 12 000 workers have lost their jobs inside three weeks following a Supreme Court ruling which allows employers to terminate workers’ contracts on three months’ notice.
“We are 100% in support of the planned demonstrations,” Zimbabwe Informal Traders’ Organisation director Promise Mkwananzi said.
“We won’t join, we are part of the demonstrations. Government must create two million jobs rather than destroy jobs.”
National Vendors’ Union of Zimbabwe (Navuz) director Samuel Wadzai said individual members of his association had vowed to join the demonstrations as they felt short-changed by the Zanu PF government.
“As Navuz, we are not part of the planning of the demonstration, but we know most of our members are affected by job losses.
They are vendors because of what is happening. Some of our members as individuals will participate in that,” Wadzai said.
The main opposition party MDC-T said that it fully supported the planned demonstrations to end the “unfriendly policies that have rendered millions jobless and impoverished”.
“The MDC fully supports and indeed encourages and endorses the proposed mass action by the ZCTU,” MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu said.
“As you know, we are a labour-backed pro-poor political party that is also totally and strongly opposed to the rampant and indiscriminate termination of thousands of workers’ contracts of employment following upon the tragic and capitalistic Supreme Court judgment.”
“The majority of the people of Zimbabwe are now living in poverty and destitution as a direct result of the ruinous and very labour-unfriendly policies of the beleaguered, bankrupt, clueless and faction-ridden Zanu PF regime.
“As the MDC, we call upon all peace-loving and concerned Zimbabweans to join the mass action that has been called by the ZCTU.”
MDC Renewal Team spokesperson Jacob Mafume said the time had come for Zimbabweans to rise and fight for their rights.
“This is a classical class struggle that we are in. The ruling class are unmitigated capitalists. They are vindictive and cruel and are trying to push their incompetence to the workers and now it’s for us the workers to rise up against these cruel machinations by this regime,” Mafume said.
The National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) also urged all workers to take part in the planned demonstrations “to send a clear message to the Zanu PF government of its failure to address the workers’ challenges”.
“We always are in support of the workers and therefore whatever initiatives that can help the workers, we support that,” NCA spokesperson Madock Chivasa said.