By Alois Vinga
THE Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has called for countrywide demonstrations against a government decision to downgrade all bank balances into the less valuable Zimbabwean currency while overburdening poor locals with a 2 percent tax on electronic transfers.
ZCTU national organising secretary, Michael Kandukutu told NewZimbabwe.com the demonstrations shall be held on Thursday next week.
“The demonstration will be graced by the country’s workers within our 36 affiliate workers unions constituting over 250 000 members.
“We are also mobilising informal traders, who, through the informal desk and members of the public affected by the tax measures are also free to join,” he said.
The development comes after ZCTU’s analysis of the monetary policy statement released Wednesday afternoon.
ZCTU noted that the separation of FCA (Foreign Currency Accounts) accounts for Nostro and RTGS (Real Time Gross Settlement) funds, government has tacitly accepted the reality of different currencies in operation in the economy.
The country’s top labour group pointed out that the differentiated accounts will create an elite class made up of international organisations, diaspora remittances, free funds, export retention proceeds and loan proceeds (foreign currency earners) who will use what Gresham’s Law refers to as “good money” (Nostro FCA balances) while the rest of the public is relegated to the use of “bad money” made up of RTGS FCA balances.
“It would appear lessons from the hyperinflation era have not been learnt, where as a result of the erosion, and effective destruction of the Zimbabwe dollar, ordinary citizens and the working people lost value through bank deposits, insurance premiums and pension contributions,” said the ZCTU while slamming government for its unilateral crafting of policies with far reaching impacts on poor workers.