THE Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) yesterday labelled the Zanu PF government as the workers’ number one enemy, and called on all workers to dump the ruling party in the upcoming general elections.
BY BLESSED MHLANGA
Addressing thousands of workers gathered at Dzivarasekwa Stadium for the main commemorations of Workers’ Day, ZCTU president Peter Mutasa accused the Zanu PF government of wantonly violating workers’ rights, hence the call to vote the opposition instead.
“From the time you fired nurses, we already knew that you are not the leaders for us. What we are saying as labour is that the government that is currently there, is not our government . . .we don’t have a government for the people currently,” he said.
“We are going to state our political preference this year. We are going to declare the party we are supporting after we meet all political parties, but as for Zanu PF, as workers, we are saying don’t vote for them. If you vote for them, you are voting to getting fired, when nurses were fired, we saw the devil. We are politely asking our comrades not to vote Zanu PF. If you are a nurse or teacher and want to be fired, vote Zanu PF.”
Mutasa added that workers this time would not allow the government to take them for a ride.
“We are at a crossroads as workers and we should arise and take charge. We are being courted to follow people, who, in the past, have been behind brutal attacks on workers’ leaders, people who claim to be a new dispensation yet they murdered our comrades and left their wives widowed and children orphaned. They destroyed homes, leaving 700 000 homeless. We shall not follow them,” he said.
“We have leaders who abhor collective bargaining and constitutional rights. If nurses go on strike, they come and tell them that they are all fired . . . we are asking and listening to them, their language is speaking one thing. They are saying Zimbabwe is no longer for you and me, Zimbabwe is now for businesses only because they are saying Zimbabwe is open for business.”
The ZCTU boss said the new Zanu PF leader, President Emmerson Mnangagwa, was not different from his predecessor, Robert Mugabe.
“Workers are saying we don’t have a new government, we have a Zanu PF government which has been in power since 1980. We can’t be deceived as if we are people with no brains . . . We are asking those who claim new dispensation: Where were they when Mugabe was ruining this country? Where were you when Mugabe was brutalising people?
“They have threatened to fire teachers and they fired nurses . . . we don’t want to vote for people that will come with a bottle of cooking oil in 2023, we want to vote for people who bring sustainable development and decent paying jobs and getting paid, who build our hospitals,” Mutasa said
Speaking at the same event,
MDC-T president Nelson Chamisa said in the next two weeks, his party would roll out a series of demonstrations to force government to implement electoral reforms.
“We will be putting pressure for electoral reforms to be implemented through peaceful demonstrations in the next weeks. We know that those in government will only succumb to change if pressurised,” he said.
Chamisa rapped officials from the Labour ministry for snubbing May Day celebrations, saying his government would ensure that all government officials attend Workers’ Day celebrations.
He pledged to introduce top-class infrastructure and improve the welfare of war veterans and civil servants after winning the upcoming presidential race.
“When I say we should have spaghetti roads, bullet trains and airports, you said I am mad. It’s called vision. Vision is for a few and provision for everyone, support my vision and we will provide for all,” he said.