By Robert Tapfumaneyi
ZIMBABWE Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) says the government has been captured by powerful cartels leaving workers with no social security support and earning with some earning US$25 per month.
This, according to the biggest labour union in the country, is enough to buy only 25 loaves of bread.
ZCTU President Peter Mutasa said it was now time for all labour unions in the country to stand-up and be at the forefront of fighting against rising corruption, repression and also for workers to shrug off ignorance and focus on freeing themselves from unjust labour practices.
He made the statements at the “Save Zimbabwe Campaign” prayer meeting 11 March 2007 commemorations held Thursday.
The 2007 prayer meeting that had been scheduled for Zimbabwe Grounds in Harare was disrupted after heavily armed anti-riot police stormed the venue and indiscriminately assaulted opposition activists at the event who also included the now late MDC founder leader, Morgan Tsvangirai.
One person was shot dead by the police.
Mutasa claimed there was nothing President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government could do to protect the interests of both public and private workers as his administration had been captured by powerful cartels.
“There is nothing that is working in this country. Yesterday I was reading a sad story of a nurse who has gone on GoFundMe to seek money for her to get an MRI scan. She is someone who is working for the health service but cannot afford an MRI scan,” Mutasa said.
“The working class, who are the majority, are earning US$25 (per month). That is 25 loaves of bread per month, the domestic workers are earning US$9, that is 9 loaves of bread for the whole month.”
“To book an ambulance if you are Covid-19 positive, you need US$190, so a domestic worker has to work for 30 something months and not be spending a cent for them to book an ambulance. To be accommodated or accepted at a hospital for Covid-19 treatment, you need a minimum of US$800, a domestic worker has to work for ages.”
Mutasa added; “Those who are earning minimum wages of US$25, they have to work for ages without spending anything to save life. So, we now have a state that is protecting and safe guarding the interests of the few at the expense of the majority and this is a big issue we are facing today.
“It’s corruption, autocracy, dictatorship, state capture, the state is no longer functioning, it has been captured by the few. It is a whole lot of poor governance and mismanagement of the economy. It is brutality against its citizens.”