ZIMBABWE CONGRESS OF TRADE UNIONS (ZCTU) Communique on the Zimbabwe Situation

18 Nov 2017

We, the General Council of the ZCTU, meeting in Harare on the 18th of November 2017 to review the political developments in Zimbabwe hereby state our position:

We firstly wish to acknowledges the definitive push by the heroes of our time, the war veterans and the Zimbabwe Defence Forces led by General Constantino Guvheya  Chiwenga. On behalf of the workers of Zimbabwe we wish to express our gratitude for the bravery and decisive move they took to liberate citizens from captivity and despicable oppression. In this regard we warn anyone who believe that they can forcefully reverse this by threatening our defence forces that, apart from its unparalleled strength in Africa, we all stand in solidarity with the ZDF to defend our nation from any intrusion. We however welcome regional and international assistance based on this demonstrated irreversible desire of Zimbabweans for change.

As workers of Zimbabwe under the ZCTU, we buttress the voices of the pioneer trade unionists who fought for the prosperity of workers and all citizens which could only be achieved through the liberation of our country from oppressive, discriminatory and repressive regimes. It is the voices of Benjamin Burombo, Charles Kadhali and others, the early trade unionists, and our heroes. These leaders fought day and night for social, economic and political rights of the workers and citizens under difficult oppressive Rhodesian employers and government.

The ZCTU appreciates the role and heroic sacrifices of these men and women who led to the formation of liberation war movements fronted by trade union veterans Joshua Nkomo, James Chikerema, and others  who yearned and fought for a free Zimbabwe where everyone was meant to be equal, prosperous and free to choose and express their political choices. Their vision and desires continue to guide and direct us as workers of Zimbabwe. 

Political developments in the past few days marks the beginning of the much desired second liberation from tyrannical and inconsiderate rule by the post independent leaders who presided over untold suffering of workers and citizens. The ZCTU through the able leadership of Gibson Sibanda, Morgan Tsvangirai and others saw the early signs of a dictatorship and fought against a one party state that would have introduced a monarchy in the early years of independence. They fought against Economic Structural Adjustment Programme (ESAP), corruption, greed and gave early warning signs that the freedom train had derailed and needed to be redirected. Unfortunately, no one took heed of the ZCTU which was declared an enemy of the state. The struggle for workers' freedom continued through the leadership of Lovemore Matombo, Wellington Chibebe and other comrades. The message from workers was clear,  that the state has been captured by individuals and corporate corrupt interests. They pointed out that the Presidency had become a danger to the achievement of the liberation struggle aspirations.

Today the results are clear. One of the richest endowed nation in the world has the highest unemployment, poverty and obscene inequality. Those who work day and night wallow in poverty while those who do nothing live in unbridled opulence. Without shame they looted the resources of the nation and parade their ill-gotten wealthy in a country where the majority are failing to buy a pain killer and living on a single meal a day. Workers are working without pay and all the protective labour laws are gone.

We therefore entertain a ray of hope today when we see Zimbabweans putting aside their petty differences and focusing on rebuilding the ruins left after many years of destruction. We are taking this process seriously and workers of Zimbabwe (including those from Informal Economy) are not going to allow to be under the yoke of bondage again.

Therefore the ZCTU demands: 

  • Inclusive Transitional Authority with a defined timeframe
  • Time for truth and justice
  • Reform of State Institutions
  • A new sense of belonging to all citizens based on the principle of collectivism. 
  • An end to neoliberal narrative based on oppression of workers through dangerous and imposed concepts such as Labour market flexibility, austerity and ill-informed Economic Structural Adjustment programs and the enrichment of a few individuals and corporates at the expense of the toiling masses.
  • A quick restoration of our basic socioeconomic rights among them:
  • Education and Heath for all
  • Reliable and affordable public transport.
  • Decent housing for all
  • Decent jobs and decent wages
  • A responsive, open and accountable government 
  • Restoration of all the lost freedoms and a return to constitutionalism. 
  • Above all , we have started as a collective and inclusive people, the way forward for our dear country must be decided by the collective.

These are part of the key result indicators we shall measure leaders. Anyone who does not commit to this should not accept any state position. On our part we commit to put our all in the reconstruction of our dear nation Zimbabwe. 
To every season, there is a time for everything. We fought and hated each other. We damaged our relationship so deeply over the years. This is the time for truth and reconciliation to heal the wounds. Let us seriously talk about it and embrace each other for justice and progress sake. 

God bless Zimbabwe. God bless Africa


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