BY PRIDE MZARABANI
ANALYSTS yesterday said stayaways are not likely to work now as Zimbabwe is a highly informalised economy where the majority have no formal jobs.
It was business as usual on Monday, the day of the planned shutdown, with police also maintaining a heavy presence across the country.
The shutdown was called by the Zimbabwe National Students Union (Zinasu) with support from the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (Artuz) and civic groups.
But analysts said it was always going to be difficult to encourage self-employed people to stay at home when they have no paid jobs and other sources of income.
“And, given how the economy has largely informalised, the majority of the citizens who would like to express themselves through stayaways are living from hand to mouth, and staying away has implications on their livelihoods as opposed to the few earning a monthly salary,” political observer Kudakwashe Munemo said.
Another political commentator Rejoice Ngwenya said: “The generation of stayaways ‘died’ with the late (Morgan) Tsvangirai’s Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) era. Eighty percent of adults are self-employed. They probably would not understand what staying away means. It’s an old strategy for a new generation. It doesn’t work.”
Another analyst Methuseli Moyo echoed the same sentiments saying job stayaways cannot work in an infomalised economy.
“Now the economy is largely informalised and the unions have been depleted and weakened, people cannot stay away from their enterprises, small as they might be, because a day lost is crucial. Stayaways work in a situation where there is strong, rooted, and visible leadership, which was not there in this case,” he said,
Farai Maguwu said stayaways are effective in a formal economy.
But Effie Ncube said Zimbabweans were desperate for change, any strategies, including stayways could be utilised.
“There is a need for a continuous conversion amongst Zimbabweans as to how they eventually hope to address the political and economic crisis in the country. The elections on their own are unlikely to deliver the change, so every tool must be employed,” he said.