The main event was in Harare at Dzivarasekwa stadium,
where some entertainment was planned to try and lift spirits that have been
crushed by the harsh economic climate.
Our Harare correspondent Simon Muchmewa visited several high and low-density
suburbs, speaking to people about this year’s celebrations. Many said they
were feeling depressed because the only work available is in the informal
sector, selling oranges or tomatoes.
Unemployment is over 80% , inflation is about 500,000%. Companies are
shutting down and there is hardly any food.. Those who have jobs are working
for poor salaries that cannot keep up with the hyperinflation. As a result
many skilled workers have left the country seeking better opportunities.
The shortage of foreign currency has led to a shortage of fuel. Most
workers cannot afford the cost of transportation to go to work. They are
walking long distances in the mornings and evenings and are usually too
tired to do much else in their free time.
A rival government-sponsored organisation, the Zimbabwe Federation of Trade
Unions (ZFTU), held their celebrations at Gwanzura Stadium. Muchemwa said
ZFTU members are mostly civil servants who are afraid of losing their jobs.
They are also forced to attend political functions organised by the ruling
party, under the guise of being ‘war veterans’. Muchemwa was quite sure that
there was not much celebrating at Gwanzura Stadium either.
The Youth Forum in Zimbabwe issued a Workers Day message that said: “There
is a great need to resuscitate the dampened spirits of people following the
illegitimate regime’s deliberate frustration of the majority of Zimbabweans
after they unequivocally expressed their will on the 29th of March. We take
this as both a de facto and de jure coup against the wish of Zimbabweans and
therefore issues such as inflation, poor wages, unaffordability and
unavailability of basic commodities, poverty, unemployment, poor health and
education delivery systems, deterioration of infrastructure and other
economic, social-political grievances have automatically become secondary,
the primary issue being to pave way for the legitimate president Morgan
Tsvangirai to start putting the house in order as mandated to him by the
Zimbabweans on the 29th March harmonized elections.”Post published in: News