ZCTU calls for dialogue to end economic crisis

via ZCTU calls for dialogue to end economic crisis – NewsDay Zimbabwe April 22, 2014 by Edgar Gweshe

THE country’s largest labour representative body, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), has said President Robert Mugabe should enter into serious dialogue with other political parties as a way of addressing the current economic meltdown that has condemned the majority of Zimbabweans to perpetual poverty.

MDC-T president Morgan Tsvangirai is on record challenging Mugabe to approach him for dialogue claiming that he had the keys to unlock the country’s economic crisis.

Zanu PF, which won last year’s general elections, has, however, ruled out any possiblity of talks with the former Premier.

ZCTU president George Nkiwane last week challenged Mugabe to give way for dialogue with all concerned stakeholders as a way of averting a major economic disaster.

“It is really necessary for dialogue to take place, but also we think that this dialogue should go beyond political engagement. All the stakeholders who have something to do with the Zimbabwean politics and the economy should be given a chance to engage and map the way forward,” Nkiwane said.

“At the moment, things are really bad and we have to give dialogue a chance, but let us not limit it to the political leaders only.”

The Government of National Unity between Zanu PF and the two MDC formations in 2009 was widely credited for bringing economic stability in the country after a period of hyper-inflation that relegated the majority of Zimbabweans into abject poverty.

Nkiwane said constructive dialogue would not only be in the best interest of workers, but all Zimbabweans.

“Companies are closing on a day-to-day basis while some are retrenching workers. So as a result, workers have been badly affected by the current situation and that is why we are saying that all those who have something to do with the economy should sit down and talk,” said Nkiwane.
The labour body said

1,3 million Zimbabweans were formally employed in 2012, but the number dropped to 1,2 million last year. The number of those formally employed, said the ZCTU, further dropped after last year’s disputed elections.

In November last year, retrenchment figures in Zimbabwe had reached 300 per week, said the ZCTU. It said the number of unemployed people in the country was likely to increase as more companies were likely to close down due to the current economic meltdown.

Nkiwane bemoaned the lack of policy consistency in the country’s investment laws which he said was largely to blame for the lack of foreign direct investment and the high unemployment rate currently prevailing in the country.

Presently, the unemployment rate stands at 85%.

The majority of Zimbabweans were now earning a living from the informal sector.

The country’s indigenisation policy has been blamed for scaring away potential investors with analysts saying it lacked clarity and created uncertainty.

“As long as we have the current order, we will continue to see companies closing down and the economic situation deteriorating. We need a paradigm shift because with the current policies in place, we cannot attract any investment, internal or external,” Nkiwane said. “We need to have policy consistency because as long as we do not have that, no investment is going to come.”

Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo could not be reached for comment yesterday.


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    Tafadzwa 9 years ago

    This guy is talking sense unlike the idiot called Makandiwa. I find it very disappointing that my some people actually believe Makandiwa’s nonsense. Dialogue should involve all stakeholders. ZANU(PF) as the chief looters do not have monopoly of knowledge or patriotism. Come on Mugabe, why not give dialogue a chance.

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    Zvichanaka 9 years ago

    Trouble is…all the while dialogue is going on, Zanu Pf will be looking at how such dialogue will benefit their individual pockets and protect their intrests ahead of anything else. Time for such actions is long gone…time to eject them from power one way or the other.

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    Mpranga 9 years ago

    Dr Simba Makoni said the problem can not be solved by those who created them

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    munzwa 9 years ago

    The first bit of dialogue needed is to come clean on the election material…

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    I must be honest and say that I do not have confidence in this. Maybe without Mugabe at the helm it just might stand a chance if ZPF could cough up a half reasonable cadre who as some semblance of idea of what they have done to this nation. But with Mugabe there forget it!

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    apolitical 9 years ago

    Hurry, with every person unemployed we in the union lose the subs abd our income – its terrible there will be nothing left to steal – please remember Tsvangerai was our boss , shame!

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      Apol your drivel does not even warrant a comment. The black sheep on the Zimbabwean family is NOT MT! Judgment day will be a very interesting day!

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    Rwendo 9 years ago

    Hard to say what would be worse for the nation’s longterm prospects: ZANU PF continuing to go it alone… or ZANU PF initiating dialogue with the MDCs under their present leadership.

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    roving ambassador. 9 years ago

    Zanu has proven again and again that they are not an honest broker. Dialogue with them at your on peril. UNLESS YOU WANT TO COME OUT OF THE MEETING WITH A FEW FARMS.
    Leave Zanu alone. Set up your on structures independent of Zanu to help your members . Use your alliances with the international labour organisations to get help and ideas.
    Wake up Zimbabwe. You don’t need Zanu. There is life after Zanu.

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    Mapingu 9 years ago

    I very much agree with the very last part of Nkiwane’s statement; which is ‘…need a paradigm shift …’. What that last part amounts to, if the truth be said, and I would want to think that is what the quoted speaker intended to say is: Zimbabwe needs ‘new leadership’ that espouses democracy and all its tenets – human rights, property rights, labour rights, freedom of speech, freedom of association, ….

    Anything short of that is not what Zim needs. Political co-habitation of whatever nature by the political elite by whatever fancy name – GNU or what, is the last thing Zim needs again. Takabvaneko kumhunga hakuna ipwa.

    So, what really is needed to move towards the achievement a truly democratic Zimbabwe? This is to me is the question we need to answer honestly. Answer may be ‘dialogue’ as suggested, but that is provided that dialogue is meant to put pressure on status quo to accept the birth of true democracy in Zim. Otherwise it can not be the answer. The answer may then be lying with other forms of pressure being brought to bear on the powers-that-be so that they accept that Zim belongs to us all – and all her citizens deserve equal rights.

    As Zimboz, we may fantasy anyhow. But the truth is majority of Zimboz were never liberated by the previous liberation struggle as our demagogues desperately want us to believe. Only the displacement of a white oppressive regime by a more oppressive black regime happened in 1980. So, like it or not the much desired freedom for the majority of the Zimboz will never come on a silver platter. It is something the masses will have to stand up and demand for themselves.

    In short what Zim needs now is for the masses to demand what is rightfully theirs: the country & its resources, the freedoms, various forms of rights, etc.; all belong to the people of Zim. Yet they are denied all of these by a minority authoritarian clique. People must, one way or another bring pressure to bear on this small authoritarian clique. That is what the country needs now, if the truth be said.

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    Less than an hour ago BusinessWeek is reporting that govt are seriously mulling the return of the Zim dollar to pay civil servants. How will they feel I wonder and how will we feel as a nation. maybe ZPF better start talking to the nation!

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    When a party has won parliamentary majority it has the mandate to implement its policies as it likes with no time wasting dialogue.The opposition wasted its time going into unnecessary dialogue when they had clear majority to be lured to a dialogue to dilute its policies which was stupid and foolish.
    Why should the new winners waste time to dilute their policies before they fully implement them?Let them implement their policies to the full,then if they work the masses will support them but if they fail then they will lose the next election.Seasoned politicians take those risks without fear and panic.
    I have seen and spoken to some parastatals workers who have told me that no labour laws are being followed now but these so-called union representatives do nothing about the breach of these laid down labour laws because they have been completely neutralised.They are only there to get fat pay so if more companies close their salaries will decline heavily.