By Alois Vinga
ZIMBABWE Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) secretary general Japhet Moyo says the main labour group was in support of calls for a negotiated settlement to the country’s political impasse but insist any such arrangement should not exclude workers.
This comes amid calls for President Emmerson Mnangagwa to reach common ground with the main opposition MDC President Nelson Chamisa in what is seen in many quarters as the first step towards resolving a national crisis.
Chamisa and his party have persistently demanded the formation of a transitional authority that should superintend over the country’s affairs in the interim and help put a stop to the negative slide.
Moyo told NewZimbabwe.com Friday that the labour union supported any arrangement that sought to bring together the country’s political heavyweights.
“We are behind any such efforts as we realise that as a nation, we are not going anywhere economically,” Moyo said of a country that has seen recurrent cash, fuel and food shortages, among other economic ills.
“We need to find each other and work together to bring the mess which is affecting workers to a halt.”
The main labour group, which provided the human resource nucleus to form MDC in 1999, was quick to caution against the country’s two political power houses from monopolising the arrangement.
“It is time politicians understood that ED (Mnangagwa) and Chamisa are not the only boys in town. As such, the talks must be broadly inclusive and also afford as workers, our seat in the negotiating proceedings including other key stakeholders who represent the society,” said Moyo, who heads a restless workforce that continues to demand a pay review from employers.
The ZCTU chief said such a setup will create checks and balances that are broadly inclusive and create a basis for a creation that will be owned by the people of Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe battles economic instability that has seen prices shoot up far beyond the reach of many.
Fuel queues have emerged with motorists spending hours of productive time while waiting for deliveries.
Workers’ salaries have been eroded and unionists across the sectors are threatening to down tools if employers resist to pay their salaries in foreign currency.
Presidential spokesperson George Charamba has said his boss was ready to talk to Chamisa on condition the opposition leader finally accepted the outcome of the July 30 elections which placed him winner with a 50,8 percent share of the national vote while Chamisa, his closest challenger, got 44,3, according to official results by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.
Chamisa insists he was robbed of victory and that his own party’s calculations gave him 57 percent of the vote.