Political Reporter Simba Moyo

The deputy Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services, Eng. Tapiwanashe Matangaidze has said Zimbabweans are leaving the country to search for work elsewhere because there is excess labour in the country, amid high literacy rates.

He said the economy is functioning well, and it has created excess labour, that is currently being exported. He boasted that because of its policy on education, the country is export top of the notch into the international labour markets.

“We are right there at the top echelon where we have people we can export and people who can stand their position in which ever country we would have send them to,” he boasted.

Matangaidze says Zimbabwe is on top, in terms of literacy levels in Africa, Zimbabwe is right there at the top highest point in echelons, and compared the Zimbabwe to countries like Israel, whose biggest export is labour.

“Let’s appreciate that in South Africa right now, Zimbabweans are right there at the top. In Australia, we are at the top.  We should be proud of the human capacity that we are building in the country,” he further boasted.

Matangaidze was responding to a question by Hon Dorothy Mangami recently in parliament, regarding the country’s labour exportation policy and asked; “I would like to find out from the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare if the Government has got a policy on the exportation of labour.  If it has, can it be explained so that we know how to go about it.”

Hon. Prosper Mutseyami, challenged Matangaidze, saying the current labour export was not a result of abundance of labour, but the government’s failure to create jobs.

“The government has failed to meet the capacity to create jobs to meet the population against the economy.  So is it an issue of abundance of labour or it is an issue of the Government failing to create jobs?”

The deputy minister instead, urged people to thank the government initiative which has put thrust on educating its people, which has resulted in the country coming up with people who are relevant worldwide.

“As a country, we should actually be proud that we have people of substance, people who make a mark wherever we send them.”

Basing on the Command Agriculture, he said Zimbabwe has created jobs in both formal and informal sectors; he lambasted those who view informal as not part of job creation as myopic.

Matangaidze said the programme, has been a huge success by any measure, produced an excess of two million tonnes of grain that has been produced, which has a ripple effect on job creation, and indeed created in excess of two million jobs as things stand.

Prior to the 2013 elections, ZANU PF promised to create 2 million jobs, before the next elections, however, this has not been the case, as the economy is still in the doldrums.  

In contrary, Zimbabwe’s economy is fast deteriorating, industry is in the woods, and companies are closing down almost on a daily basis. Since the beginning of the economic downward spiral, Zimbabweans are leaving the country in masses, to search for greener pastures elsewhere, as jobs are being lost. Some moved into the informal sector.

In 2003, 62% of household income came from primary income that is wages and salaries, a decrease in this, indicated economic decline (rising unemployment), this gave rise to household business in this case (informal sector).

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) and UNDP, 2000, views the informal economy as being broadly classified as one which consists of mainly unregistered and unregulated small units engaged in production and distribution of commodities, with the primary aim of generating income for the participants.

It was also noted that the sector is generally viewed as low productivity, low profit, lacking safety nets, and poverty trap, but, with potential to break through under systematic support initiatives.