By Anna Chibamu
THE opposition MDC parties have called for “an all-encompassing stakeholders’ dialogue” to chart the way forward as the country’s meltdown continues and the government looks unable to stem the slide.
The call comes after the government more than doubled fuel prices a few days after giving public sector workers a pay increase of just ten percent.
In separate statements over the weekend, the MDC parties condemned the fuel price hikes and warned President Emmerson Mnangagwa of public protests if the increases are not reversed.
The parties castigated the Zanu PF led government for failure to deal with “currency distortions whilst promoting and enriching a “fuel cartel” and “Queen Bees” of the land.
“We as MDC-T reiterate the call for an all-encompassing stakeholders’ dialogue to save our country from the inevitable and imminent slide into political abyss and economic breakdown. The majority cannot take it any longer,” the Thokozani Khupe-led faction of the opposition movement.
“The economic quagmire we are in as a nation demands that all key pillars of the state are expected to be on high alert responding positively to the issues affecting the people.
“Increase of fuel will have a ripple effect across all facets of the economy; people will have to fork out more money for transport.
“It is absurd that after giving civil servants a 10 percent salary increment, the same government effects more than 300 percent fuel price increase.”
Party spokesperson Linda Masarira warned of public protests if government fails to take heed of the people’s cries for better living conditions.
“By repeatedly refusing to heed the cry of the majority poor and downtrodden Zimbabweans, the government has catalyzed the economic crisis to a rupture.
“God, forbid, it be a bloodless rupture as the starving masses will heed the calls for public protests being called from many quarters.”
The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions has already called for a mass stay-away from Monday to Wednesday.
Meanwhile, MDC spokesperson Jacob Mafume called Mnangagwa’s regime to resign to allow “the country to move forward”.
“Fuel prices hikes are not only misguided, but hapless,” he said.
“Instead of accepting its gross failure to turn around the economy, the cartel now basks in the pretense of ‘mega deals’ in curious corners of the forgotten Uzbekistan, Khazakistan, and other places you may never have heard of.
“The Mnangagwa administration has clearly failed in most absolute terms and must resign. We call Mr Mnangagwa and his faux government to order,” fumed Mafume.
Meanwhile, in a bid to stem a nation-wide job action, public service minister Sekesai Nzenza will Monday (today) meet with principals of workers, employers and government to resolve demands for salaries to be paid in US dollars.