HARD-PRESSED Zimbabwean workers yesterday called on President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF government to immediately step down and pave way for a new transitional authority to avert a total collapse of the economy.
BY BLESSED MHLANGA
The call came as Mugabe’s Cabinet ministers made frantic efforts on social media platforms to assure restive citizens that a solution would soon be found following their leader’s return from the United National General Assembly in the United States on Monday.
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) president, Peter Mutasa said the nation was now at a crossroads amid shortages of basics such as fuel, drugs, electricity, clean water, while the general infrastructure was dilapidating.
“The cost of living has become unbearable for ordinary people due to skyrocketing prices of basics triggered by the lack of confidence in the bond notes, a surrogate currency, which is collapsing against the US dollar and other currencies,” he said.
Mutasa said it was only the people who can free themselves from this “bondage” by pushing for reforms.
“Without beating about the bush, our problems are emanating from the State and in particular, the Presidency.
“The succession debacle is increasingly becoming a major country risk factor on a daily basis and if left unchecked, it will certainly sink the nation,” he said.
“Our future and that of our children is now in the hands of a bunch of clueless politicians and it is up to us to stand firm and reject to be condemned to the gallows by a few selfish individuals.”
Mutasa said dissolving Mugabe’s government to make way for a transitional authority can boost confidence in the economy and salvage the little that was left as the country trudges towards next year’s elections.
Former Finance minister and opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leader, Tendai Biti said Mugabe’s insatiable appetite for power, huge spending and lack of regard for the economy has pushed the country to the brink.
Biti said during his time in government, he tried to have weekly meetings with Mugabe to discuss financial issues and shape the economy, but the 93-year-old leader would have none of it, preferring to have meetings with the military.
Biti blamed his successor, Patrick Chinamasa for failing to stop the economic decline by funding Zanu PF fat cats’ lavish lifestyles without matching revenue generation mechanisms in place.
“He (Mugabe) should lock him (Chinamasa) up for a few days, in fact, while he is at, it he should also lock himself up there,” Biti said.
But Mugabe’s ministers said all the problems were being addressed.
Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere was the first to break the news of a $600 million deal signed between Zimbabwe and Afreximbank in Harare to ostensibly salvage the economy.
“Zimbabwe and Afreximbank sign $600 million facility to support our economy, we will stabilise the economy and all these efforts aimed at causing despondency and panic will come to naught,” he said.
Kasukuwere was later joined by Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo, who posted a picture of fuel tankers, claiming there was a 5km long queue of the tankers bringing the scarce commodity to Zimbabwe.
“Sights from Forbes Border Post, this afternoon the much needed fuel flowing in. Line stretched for over 5km. A go slow or fuel maningi (a lot of fuel),” he tweeted.