The Movement for Democratic Change today called for fresh elections saying that the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front which won harmonised elections less than six months ago has failed.
The party’s shadow Minister for Labour, Employment and Social Security, Paurina Mpariwa said 300 workers were losing their jobs every week, more than 300 companies had been liquidated and another 149 companies had filed for liquidation in recent months.
It was therefore evident that ZANU-PF could not turn around the economy despite its promises to create more than two million jobs.
Mpariwa listed scores of companies that had been liquated or were placed judicial management.
She said there was need to transform the country’s economy from a “dual enclave”, to one that is democratised and where every citizen fully participates and achieves their full potential.
“In order to halt the increase in unemployment and improve the welfare of the workers and the people, Zimbabwe needs to hold fresh and proper elections so that we have a government that understands, that has the full mandate and the will of the people at heart.
“After stealing the people’s vote, ZANU-PF has failed to Nikuv the economy,” she said in an apparent reference to an Israeli company that is alleged to have helped ZANU-PF to rig the 2013 elections.
It is not clear who will fund fresh elections because even last year the government had to scramble to raise funds for the elections.
Here is her full statement:
Friday, 10 January 2014
Press Statement by Paurina Mpariwa, the MDC Shadow Minister for Labour, Employment and Social Security, Harvest House, Harare
The MDC notes with serious concern the unwarranted threats made this week by the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Nicholas Goche against civil servants who intend to engage in an industrial action over their pay and welfare disputes.
Goche’s intimidation of the civil servants, especially teachers, who are demanding a living wage and better working conditions, is totally unacceptable as it is at variance with the country’s Constitution.
The country’s constitution is very clear that every employee has the right to participate in collective job action, including the right to strike, withdraw their labour and to take other similar collective action.
Instead of making unconstitutional threats to the already suffering government workers, Goche should implement and honour his party’s promises made during the 2013 elections that all public servants would be awarded above poverty datum line salaries and have better working conditions.
The MDC believes in the harmonisation of all labour laws as per the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Commission of Enquiry. All the Labour laws must as matter of urgency be aligned to the letter and spirit of the new constitution.
Zanu PF should stop paying lip service to the clear rights of civil servants to receive increased and back dated salaries.
As a party built on the foundation of the sweat, blood and tears of labour, the MDC identifies with the plight of all workers both in the public and private sectors. We further call upon all employers to respect the rights of the workers at all times and pay them a decent wage.
Zanu PF has clearly failed to meet the obligation of paying government workers salaries that are above the poverty datum line.
The MDC notes with concern the dismal failure by Zanu PF to respect the International Labour Organisation (ILO) guidelines to engage in and promote social dialogue with the labour and employers in order to improve the welfare of the employees and to stimulate the much needed production.
It is clear that the Zimbabwe’s failure to attract investors is due to Zanu PF’s acerbic and hostile policies. The net effect is an abnormally high number of companies that have failed to reopen this year.
It is worrying that many companies are slipping into liquidation, voluntary or judicial management, throwing thousands out of the job market because Zanu PF has killed both the formal and informal sectors of the economy.
Over 300 companies have been liquidated in recent months while 149 companies have filed for liquidation at the High Court and over 300 workers are being retrenched on a weekly basis.
This sad picture is contrary to the Zanu PF election manifesto which claimed that it will create over two million jobs in the next five years but six months later, not a single job has been created. Instead, thousands of workers from all sectors of the economy have been made redundant.
Zanu PF has shown that it does not have a program to support industries in violation of the country’s Constitution that states that the government must at every level adopt reasonable policies and measures to provide everyone with an opportunity to work.
The following is just an example of how the companies are being affected by the lack of the Zanu PF government support:
David Whitehead Textiles, which used to be the largest textile firm, employing thousands of workers in Chegutu is now under provisional judicial management so as Blue Ribbon Industries. Other companies under court directed reconstruction orders are; Merspin, National Blankets, Irazin and Travan, Modzone and Karina Textiles while Cotton Printers has been liquidated.
Kalahari Clothing has been placed under reconstruction, Bernstein and Saybrook Manufacturers have retrenched most of their workers while the Bulawayo-based Archer Clothing Company, Lancashire Clothing Company, Polyfoil Zim, Walters Bakery, Impala Enterprises and Lasker Brothers went under judicial management.
Spinning company Scottco and Chinhoyi-based Afroram Spinners Limited are reported to be going through the same difficult challenges. This is the sad scenario that is unfolding in most industries and the most affected people are the workers who are not certain whether these companies will reopen in 2014.
Anjin Investments, a diamond mining company in Chiadzwa has retrenched nearly 1 000 workers out of close to 1 800 people since it started operations in 2010. About 190 of the remaining 845 workers still face the chop as the company targets to remain with only 655 workers by March this year. Another Chinese owned diamond company, Jinan Mining (Pvt) this month retrenched over 30 workers while Cottco retrenched 62 workers.
Some of the conglomerates that have also retrenched are; Zimplats, Unki, Bindura Nickel, Mimosa, Spar Supermarkets, Dairibord, Cairns Foods, Olivine Industries and PG Industries.
Other companies seeking voluntary closure are; Zimbao Mining Ventures, Infinity Asset Management, Rusape Service Station, Central African Shipping Agencies, United Methodist Publications, Stationers Foundations, Mars Zimbabwe, Road Construction, Gulliver Consolidated, Phoenix Consolidated Industries, KM Financial Holdings, Shaefer Investment, Lion Matches, Security Mills, Radiator and Tinning, Belmont Leather, Hunyani Mill and Baobab Industries while Interfresh has been delisted from the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange following the company’s voluntary application for termination of listing last year.
Seven troubled banks have been placed by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe under surveillance amid serious concerns that the financial institutions could be facing insolvency problems and depositors’ money is at risk.
The above is only a tip of the iceberg of what is happening across the country where thousands of workers are being laid off.
The MDC believes that labour is the cornerstone of sustainable national development. It is possible to attain the goal of poverty alleviation through the creation of decent jobs that provide dignity and opportunities for Zimbabweans.
Our position is that there is need to transform the country’s economy from a “dual enclave”, to one that is democratised and where every citizen fully participates and achieves their full potential.
In order to halt the increase in unemployment and improve the welfare of the workers and the people, Zimbabwe needs to hold fresh and proper elections so that we have a government that understands, that has the full mandate and the will of the people at heart.
After stealing the people’s vote, Zanu PF has failed to Nikuv the economy.
Hon. Paurina Mpariwa
MDC Shadow Minister for Labour, Employment and Social Security