Zimbabwe opposition MDC’s vice president, Thokozani Khupe talks to reporters at the Red Sea resort where African leaders are meeting ahead of Monday’s general AU summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt Sunday, June 29, 2008. Zimbabwe’s opposition appealed to the African Union on Saturday to send peacekeepers and a special envoy to stem violence and help mediate an end its country’s political crisis. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)
HARARE – The Thokozani Khupe-led MDC-T has called on President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration to urgently deal with the current economic crisis that has threatened to bring a total government shutdown.
This comes as the government is failing to contain a growing economic meltdown, which has resulted in exorbitant prices, foreign currency and fuel shortages.
The party’s spokesperson Linda Masarira said there is need for the government to make drastic changes that will translate into economic development.
“The MDC-T notes with concern the lack of urgency by the government of Zimbabwe to address the debilitating economic crisis … there is urgent need for them to start having dialogue with all stakeholders in politics, business, civic society and the church to come up with a holistic approach to rescue Zimbabwe from the economic quagmire currently bedevilling the nation,” the party said.
Amid the economic crisis, civil servants have since issued a notice to take part in an industrial action.
This also follows a 40-day industrial action by doctors, while teachers are demanding to be paid in United States dollars.
According to Khupe’s party, it is clear that the year 2019 has not started well for Zimbabweans who are struggling to make ends meet.
The party said there is need to urgently look into the “unrelenting crisis marked by growing parallel currency market as Zimbabwean authorities persist against glaring evidence and common sense that there is no parity between the surrogate bond notes and the US dollar”.
According to the organisation, there is a severe shortage of basic commodities that manifested in the spiralling prices and rationing of items per customer, including items like soft drinks.
“Indeed, many households did not enjoy Christmas as would be expected as fuel shortages made travelling impossible for many. The list is endless and one could go on and on, but the underlining point is that social services have irredeemably suffered and poverty deepened to the majority people both in the urban and rural areas,” the party said.
The party further said the current labour unrest was inevitable, considering the deteriorating economic situation in the country, adding good salaries are a prerequisite for economic recovery if they are sustainable and externally competitive.
According to the party, there is need for government to reduce the wage bill, create a wage bill ceiling for ministries, review allowances, restructure parastatals, formalising the economy and create an enabling working environment.
“It is not enough to say ‘Zimbabwe is open for business’ and expect some rich foreigner to put money in Zimbabwe. It never works that way. The government must facilitate an economic recovery programme not through borrowing loans for huge projects but supporting small to medium projects by women and youths especially so as to increase household incomes and revive manufacturing.”