The MDC Alliance has always pointed out that the illegitimate regime has got no capacity to plan for anything.
Further, of all the promises they made in their 2018 election manifesto, nothing so far has materialised.
It is clear to all by now that they have continued to fail in anything they promised to do beside corruption, mismanagement of resources, thuggery and violation of human rights for the citizenry.
As the People’s party, the MDC Alliance has already pointed out that the lockdown was announced whilst there were no adequate preparations.
Indeed, there was no consultation with all the relevant stakeholders and thus the chaos that is there in all the sectors especially at the workplace.
Regrettably that chaos is now affecting the non-essential workers not covered by S.I.83/2020.
The Minister of Labour and Social Welfare recently claimed that employers might not be able to cover employees wages because business is down due to the lockdown.
Even if his argument was valid or acceptable; when the chips are down, it still remains as the Government’s obligation to take over that responsibility from the struggling employers.
Indeed, it is now time that the surplus that Government has made from the 2% levy be used to cushion all workers during these hard times.
But lest we as the MDC-Alliance be accused of day-dreaming and be challenged to say the proposals that we are putting on the table have not been implemented by any other government; other responsible governments with small economies have done their best to cushion their workers that have been affected by the lockdowns.
These are examples of countries who have already done that:
1. Guinea has effected
– No payment of rents by workers and citizens in general up to December 2020
– Government has pledged to cover electricity and water for 3months
– Free public transport for 3 months
2. Ghana
– Government is covering all water bills for 3 months
– Some workers were exempted from paying tax for 3 months.
3. Rwanda
– Door door food deliveries for disadvantages groups
– Provision of free water and electricity.
– Provision of free hospital access.
4. Botswana
– Government has put aside US$168 million to assist business to pay workers salaries to avoid layoffs.
5. Uganda
– No payment of rent until futther notice and
– Distribution of food to vulnerable groups.
As such, if other African African governments are able to come up with plans that are sustainable and able to cover all workers; why are we not able as Zimbabwe to do the same?
It thus seems as if the illegitimate regime is simply not interested in alleviating suffering of workers and the citizenry at large because it is not a government that was popularly voted in by the Zimbabwean masses.
Indeed, it is a fake government that is led by a court-declared president and is only interested in looting, violating human rights and moving its selfish agenda of corruption, mismanagement and plundering the country’s resources.
An MDC-Alliance led government will always seek to first consult all relevant stakeholders by using such foras as the Tripartite Negotiating Forum (NTF), and facilitate an agreement that would be beneficial to both workers and employers.
Gideon Shoko
Secretary for Labour and Social Security
MDC Alliance