Readers aside, nobody must be missing the Daily News more than the Movement for Democratic Change and the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions. Without their only mouthpiece, they have been deprived of all means of communication.
Electronic bulletins like Zvakwana/ Sokwanele though still around have demonstrated that Zimbabwe still relies on the printed word.
Though the bulletin was at the forefront of calling for a two-day stay-away in support of arrested trade union leaders, the strike was a complete flop showing that it was not getting to the real constituency of the workers’ body.
Trade Union leaders including ZCTU secretary general Wellington Chibhebhe and president Lovemore Matombo were arrested just before the November 18 marches that the labour movement had organised.
ZCTU leaders had planned to hand over a petition to the Minister of Finance during their aborted march.
Zvakwana said part of the petition read: “Almost every worker is taxed up to 45 percent of his or her wages and benefits, yet there is nothing to show for it. Our health delivery system, transport, educational system and all services have collapsed. In the context of the deepening crisis, workers and Zimbabweans in general can no longer enjoy basic economic rights such as the right to food, health, education, shelter, affordable accommodation, employment and security, among others.”
Zvakwana called for a two-day stay-away on November 20 and 21 to demand the immediate release of ZCTU and other civic leaders. It urged people to “SMS the Officer in Charge at Harare Central Police Station. His number is 011-701634 with the following message: “Free the Harare 50”, but the stay-away was a flop.
Mlamuleli Sibanda, ZCTU spokesman admitted that the stay-away had indeed failed. But the failure was not because people did not support the stay-away. It was simply because people had not been informed. No media had filled the void left by the Daily News.