The Movement for Democratic Change shadow cabinet today said the only way forward for Zimbabwe is a return to legitimacy through free and fair elections so that the country can have a proper government which has the capacity to respond to national needs.
In a statement after the first “alternative cabinet” meeting of 2014, cabinet spokesman Nelson Chamisa said the cabinet had expressed serious concerns about the people’s plight due to the liquidity crunch, jobs losses, company closures and a national budget that did not solve the country’s problems.
The cabinet also lamented the desperate situation of war veterans, the elderly and the disabled who were not getting the welfare support and assistance from the government.
“It is the MDC’s position that any government that does not care for those who brought about the country’s independence is no government,” the cabinet said.
Below is the full statement:
Thursday, 16 January 2014
MDC Alternative Cabinet meets over deteriorating situation
President Morgan Tsvangirai today chaired the first cabinet meeting of 2014 which took place against the background of the declining economic situation in the country.
The Alternative Cabinet expressed serious concerns over the people’s plight due to the liquidity crunch, job losses and retrenchment, closing down of companies, the national budget that does not solve the country’s problems and the over one million students who failed to go to school this week because BEAM has no money.
The Cabinet bemoaned the company closures and the thousands of workers being retrenched in all the towns and cities in Zimbabwe particularly in Bulawayo and Harare. The Alternative Cabinet is of the view that the country should come up with a conducive and attractive environment for investment and industrialisation.
The Alternative Cabinet further noted with concern the conditions of service of civil servants against the backdrop of hefty salaries and endemic corruption in some government departments. As MDC, we believe that there can never be genuine peace without industrial peace and the dignity of the worker. Workers have a right to a decent wage and decent work.
Some of the issues discussed include the collapse of the hospitals that are facing an acute drug shortage as well as the food imports that did not even begin to meet the national requirements.
The meeting heard that of the national requirement of 150 000 metric tonnes of maize, the country had now imported only 19 000 tonnes from South Africa. What worsens the situation is Zanu PF’s abuse of food distribution in the countryside. Food is being used as a political weapon to punish and ostracise those perceived to be of a different political persuasion.
The MDC is concerned by the desperate situation of our war veterans, the elderly and those living with disabilities who are not getting welfare support and assistance from government. It is the MDC’s position that any government that does not care for those who brought about the country’s independence is no government.
The only way forward for the country is to return to legitimacy through the holding of a free and fair election underpinned by reforms so that Zimbabweans can have a proper government which has the capacity to respond to national needs.
President Tsvangirai reiterated the need for national leadership and focus in the struggle to achieve a democratic and a new Zimbabwe. It is possible, it is inevitable.
Hon Nelson Chamisa
MDC Alternative Cabinet Spokesperson