News / Press Release
Political leaders of MDC-T, MKD, ZAPU and NCA solidarity message to the workers of Zimbabwe on May Day
01 May 2015 at 12:14hrs | Views
Today is May Day and as the political leaders in Zimbabwe, we are here in solidarity with the ZCTU and the patriotic, working people of this country. It is the blood, sweat and tears of the dedicated workers that create wealth and build world economies.
But we meet at a time when the signs are not encouraging; in a country where every other industry and factory is shutting down and the biggest employer now is government; a service institution that is itself threatening to retrench more than 100 000 workers as part of a belated, cost-cutting measure.
In a country with over 90 percent unemployment, it appears a hollow commemoration of "Workers Day" in a country with virtually no workers to talk about!
The falling statistics of people in formal employment in manufacturing, mining, agriculture and other sectors are an indictment on this government, especially after campaigning in the 2013 election with the false promise of creating 2,2 million jobs in five years.
Now the same jobs are threatened
In 2014 alone, over 35 000 jobs were lost in manufacturing alone while other sectors have virtually collapsed. Over two million people are now in the streets and vending for a living in the informal sector.
The teeming millions now selling wares on our streets are the embodiment of the "new worker" who works in the informal sector to feed the family and to send children to school.
Today, we in the political leadership of the country pay tribute and stand in solidarity with these honest, hard-working Zimbabweans. We wish to salute this new breed of workers for their honesty and unstinting belief in hard work.
They might not be creating any wealth in the informal sector, but they have chosen to live honestly, through sheer hard work, blood, sweat and tears.
As political leaders, we respect them. We salute them.
It is these honest, patriotic men and women, most of whom are now in the Diaspora and in neighbouring countries where they are suffering the ignominy of vices such as xenophobia. Their desire is simply to eke out an honest living because their own government has dismally failed, despite starting with so much promise in 1980.
This May Day, we remember and salute all those Zimbabweans and other Africans who were recently killed and maimed in South Africa because of their belief in honest work on their own continent.
Those Africans simply did not deserve to have their blood needlessly shed by a callous African administration.
As political leaders, we support the workers in both the public and private sectors in their campaign against harsh labour laws, poor pay and confused government policies that neither protect nor create jobs; policies that are not conducive to the promotion of FDI.
We support the ZCTU in in its recent call for action as a public expression of discontent over the deteriorating political and economic situation.
That is the spirit.
The workers, or any other sector, entity or institution, reserve their Constitutional right to publicly express themselves. We have a constitutional right to express our discontent and very soon, we shall all be publicly expressing ourselves.
As political leaders, all we can assure you that the problems of the workers are political and they need a political solution through action.
The theme of this year's May Day celebrations speaks to the need for action; Workers under siege; Arise and fight on.
Indeed, we shall collectively fight for stability and economic prosperity in our motherland.
To President Robert Mugabe and his Government we want to demand the following
That he must resign because he has failed the people of Zimbabwe. We cannot continue to watch workers being retrenched on a daily basis , if he doesn't resign, he should provide the 2,2million jobs he promised in 2013
We also demand an urgent all stakeholders' conference where we discuss the economy and the way forward
If President Mugabe does not act on our demands, we reserve the right to mobilize the people of Zimbabwe to act to determine their destiny.
To the workers, we say now is the time to arise and fight….
God Bless the people of Zimbabwe
MDC-T President: Dr Morgan Tsvangirai
MKD President: Dr Simba Makoni
ZAPU President: Dr Dumiso Dabengwa
NCA President: Professor Lovemore Madhuku
Source - MDC-T, MKD, ZAPU, NCA, ZCTU