By Alois Vinga
THE Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) assigned the Congress of South Africa Trade Unions (COSATU) to help organise a meeting with South Africa president, Cyril Ramaphosa with plans to persuade him to intervene in resolving Zimbabwe’s deepening socio-economic problems.
Details of the request emerged this week in a letter, dated October 28 2019 and written by the ZCTU’s secretary general Japhet Moyo to COSATU general secretary, Bheki Nshalintshli which was seen by NewZimbabwe.com.
“As you are aware, Zimbabwe is facing serious socio-economic and political problems. In our view, the problem of Zimbabwe is a political problem that requires mediation at the political level taking on board the voice of labour and civil society at large,” the letter reads.
ZCTU said South Africa was Zimbabwe’s largest trading partner in the region as well as the biggest recipient of migrant workers from Zimbabwe, hence failure to intervene by the powerful neighbour will directly affect South Africa’s economic progression.
“It is in this vein that the ZCTU requests COSATU to facilitate the convening of a meeting between the ZCTU leadership and the President of the Republic of South Africa to persuade him to take steps in the resolution of Zimbabwe’s political problems which have seen the country being isolated on the international stage,” Moyo said in the letter.
A ZCTU source said the country’s largest labour representative group was keen on triggering a regional conversation which looks at how Zimbabwe’s economic challenges have affected migration patterns in Southern Africa.
Zimbabwe’s economic challenges are also seen as a source of problems across the region.
The request for urgent intervention comes as the troubled country sinks deeper into economic distress with ever rising prices of goods and services propelling the country’s inflation above 400 percent, according to independent estimates.
The crisis can also be seen within public hospitals in which service delivery in the past three months has virtually grounded to a halt due to a protracted strike over poor wages by doctors.
Several listed companies also continue recording huge declines in sales volumes, indicating pending job cuts.
The International Monetary Fund has further predicted Zimbabwe’s economy will shrink to minus 7 % by year end.