Workers ready to take to the streets without politicians

Workers are the owners of the planned mass demonstrations to force government fulfil its election campaign promises not political parties says the country’s top labour leader.

George Nkiwane, president of the Z CTU.
George Nkiwane, president of the Z CTU.

George Nkiwane, president of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, told The Zimbabwean workers were ready to take to the streets in protest against unfulfilled government promises for job prospects and economic turnaround.

He said politicians had hijacked the planned protests by workers and given the wrong impression that the ZCTU would take to the streets in support of demonstrations initiated by political parties.

“The truth of the matter is that it is the workers who said it was time government meets its promises. It is the same workers demanding their dues who will take to the streets even without the support of political organisations,” Nkiwane said, noting that they were still consulting with stakeholders regarding the way forward.

The labour activist leader indicated that workers would definitely do something about the unfulfilled promises and said political parties need the support of the workers for the success of mass actions -not the other way round.

He could not give timelines for the demonstrations. Morgan Tsvangirai, MDC-T leader, recently said he would lead the anti-government mass protests from the front to force the government to live up to its election campaign promises and turn around the economy.

Simbarashe Moyo, Combined Harare Residents Association chairperson, maintained his position that residents would rally behind the Tsvangirai demonstrations, saying people from all walks of life shared common concerns.

“What the MDC-T is demanding from government reflects what residents have been asking for by way of marches and other means. Economic problems weighing on MDC-T are similar to those affecting every citizen, so there is no good reason not to team up in solidarity,” said Moyo.

Rejoice Ngwenya, a political analyst, said Zanu (PF) made promises to everybody so the mass action had to be collective. He noted that all stakeholders from NGOs, student unions, workers’ unions, political parties to residents associations should come together and map the way forward.

“No one institution or individual should own the demonstrations since the actions should have all faces and be reflective of a collective national displeasure at the way the country is being managed,” said Ngwenya. He said the source of the initiative to demonstrate was not important at this juncture.

President Robert Mugabe and Zanu (PF) spokesperson, Rugare Gumbo, have warned that the state had enough security agents to deal with any MDC protests.

Street demands made by the MDC-T Youth Assembly recently were met with police heavy handedness. Several youths were arrested while others were brutally assaulted in the skirmishes.

Post published in: News

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