OPPOSITION MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai has urged the electorate to “punish” President Robert Mugabe in next year’s general elections for failing to honour his 2013 pledge to create 2,2 million jobs.
BY RICHARD CHIDZA
In his Workers’ Day message, the firebrand former trade unionist said instead of creating employment opportunities over the past four years, Mugabe’s government had forced industry to shut down as it turned workers into vendors.
“…this great day dedicated to celebrating the working community even though in our country, sadly, formal work has become a rarity. I salute the few Zimbabweans that still remain in formal work in whatever little is still left of our once-thriving industry,” Tsvangirai said.
“I also want to make special mention of our hardworking civil servants who continue to slug it out without recognition and due payment from this uncaring government. The nation knows that had it not been for the election next year, even the staggered bonuses that are due to be paid out to civil servants starting this month would not have seen the light of day.”
The MDC-T leader, who has been rallying opposition parties to form a coalition to face Mugabe in next year’s general elections, said the massive brain drain required sober reflection, adding it was an indictment on the government.
“This is the sad national predicament we must think about this May Day, the educated youth who are idle mainly because in 2013, President Mugabe and Zanu PF lied that they would create two million jobs to ameliorate their plight, but have dismally failed to come good on that promise.
“As we face a watershed election in 2018, we must budget that these hypocrites will bring to us a fresh bouquet of high-sounding promises they will forget about soon after polling day!” Tsvangirai said, urging Zimbabweans to register as voters and turn out in millions at the elections.
“The only difference is that Zimbabweans are now wiser. We must remember that as a nation we have our work cut out for us as we brace for next year’s watershed polls. Yes, we have serious work to do next year and that great work starts by registering to vote as soon as the voter registration exercise is rolled out in the coming days.”
Tsvangirai said Mugabe’s toxic economic policy has created hostile conditions for both investment and the working class, in the process spewing massive informalisation of the economy.
“It is in that new, but sad context that today, I extend a special salute to the new workers; the country’s teeming informal traders who continue to make our economy tick under very hostile conditions.
“To the millions of vendors now eking out an honest living on the pavements of our streets, I salute you; to the men and women in the villages working hard to feed your families, you are my heroes; to the artisanal miners slugging it out beneath our soils and the farmers those tilling the land, we revere you; to all those of my countrymen and women in the Diaspora working hard to send a dime to the families back home; this is your day!” Tsvangirai said.