Job creation is the national challenge

After rigging the July 31, 2013 harmonised elections, the beleaguered and faction-ridden Zanu PF regime promised to create 2,2 million jobs in order to fulfill one of its key electoral promises. Twenty one (21) months after staging the historic electoral theft, the regime has not managed to create a single job; at least within the formal sector.

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MDC-T spokesman Obert Gutu

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Documented evidence clearly shows that at least 300 workers are losing their jobs every week in the formal sector. Companies are closing on a daily basis and the few businesses that are still in operation are downsizing and retrenching on a massive scale. As a result, thousands of young men and women have now flooded the informal sector as street vendors and small – time entrepreneurs.

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The central business districts of major cities and towns such as Harare, Bulawayo, Gweru and Mutare have been virtually deserted by formal businesses and in their place, we now have rows and rows of street vendors selling their merchandise. To all intents and purposes, Zimbabwe has witnessed a total collapse of the formal business sector. At least eight in every ten adults are now engaged in the informal sector.

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The MDC has always advocated for the adoption of socio – economic policies that will stimulate sustainable agricultural and industrial growth in Zimbabwe. As a social democratic party, we are fully convinced that the mass poverty and mass unemployment that is currently affecting the country can be successfully averted by adopting an accountable and transparent system of governance that upholds the rule of law as well as respects property rights.

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A modern, developmental economy can only be sustainably managed with the creation of an economic and financial environment that is investor – friendly and that also clamps down on corruption. The Zanu PF regime has never been serious about fighting and clamping down on corruption. Over the years, the scourge of corruption has been allowed to spread like a cancer and consequently, the whole system is now incorrigibly rotten.

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Corruption is now endemic in both the public and private sectors. Robert Mugabe has never been known to deal effectively and ruthlessly with his corrupt Cabinet ministers. In fact, if you are not corrupt, you will not survive for long in Zanu PF.

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Some Zanu PF Members of Parliament recently called for the removal of vendors from the streets of Harare. What these legislators should appreciate is the fact that those vendors are not on the streets as a matter of choice. They are on the streets because they cannot find any formal employment in order to earn a decent living. The majority of those vendors will promptly vacate the streets if they could secure alternative employment in the factories and in industry and commerce.

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We should seek to cure the cause of the disease and not just the symptoms. There is no meaningful foreign direct investment (FDI) that is coming into Zimbabwe mainly because the Zanu PF regime has a record of poor governance, corruption and disrespect for the rule of law.

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No investor would want to put their hard – earned money in a country that has got absolutely no respect for property rights. Only crooked business people and some other such nefarious dealers are prepared to come and invest in a lawless country where corruption is practised and actually encouraged by very highly placed government officials.

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The problem of widespread vending can only be solved by cleansing the whole fabric of Zimbabwean society. We have to ruthlessly clamp down on corruption and we also have to ensure that there is the rule of law. All those people who have amassed ill – gotten wealth should be arrested and prosecuted and their loot should be returned to the people of Zimbabwe.

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That is the only effective way in which we are going to holistically and sustainably eliminate the scourge of widespread vending throughout the country. The MDC calls upon the collapsing and bankrupt Zanu PF regime not to unduly and unfairly victimise vendors.

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MDC : EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL

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Obert Chaurura Gutu
\nNational Spokesperson