By Alois Vinga
THE Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has bemoaned a tough 2019, describing the entire 12 months as “annus horriblis’ (latin word meaning very tough) due to a number of inconsistent government policies which led to company closures and erosion of incomes.
In a festive season statement signed by the its secretary general, Japhet Moyo Friday, ZCTU said the year has been disastrous for the country’s working class.
“It is a year workers would want to forget quickly and a year that can be best described as ‘annus horribilis’. The much-anticipated improvement to the plight of the working people did not materialise.
“Working people of Zimbabwe have been confronted with, among others: poverty, slavery wages that have failed to match the poverty datum line of $5 000, shocking price increases and inflation levels topping 500 percent, high income tax policies that is punitive to the workers,” said Moyo.
The ZCTU secretary said a barrage of anti-worker policies by government added to a health delivery system that has failed to recover from collapse as Zimbabweans continue to die of treatable diseases.
“A collapsed education system that has been characterised by chaos and constant threats of industrial action from teachers over low salaries; erratic supply of water and electricity that has decimated industrial production and high unemployment and underemployment levels did not make the situation better,” he said.
Moyo bemoaned the increased informalisation of the economy, institutional collapse, decay and corruption, massive poverty afflicting in excess of 80% of the population, state threats, arrests, detention and abduction of trade unionists as well as civic leaders by a paranoid administration, state sponsored shootings and killings on civilians for protesting against the high cost of living.
He said the political and economic situation has not been kind and urged citizens to take advantage of the current Christmas holiday to craft solutions to improve their future and brace for a tougher fight ahead against economic problems.
“Let us take this Christmas and New Year break not to ponder on what could have been, but to ponder on what to do about it in order to improve our lives.
“The month of January 2020 should be a decisive month. Workers should come back prepared to fight against economic haemorrhage and tyranny,” said Moyo.