HARARE - The political and economic crisis in Zimbabwe is now way beyond control and will escalate further before a solution can be found, Morgan Tsvangirai, MDC leader said.
Addressing a handful of workers who turned up for the Workers’ Day commemorations organised by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) in Harare yesterday, the former labour leader said the country’s problem was a political one.
Tsvangirai accused president Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party of rigging their way to power in the 2013 elections resulting in a “crisis of legitimacy and a deep national crisis”.
He said foreign investment which is necessary to extricate the country from the current economic quagmire will not be forthcoming when there is a 91-year-old trying to stay in power for ever.
“I am surprised he is not ashamed of chairing the AU and Sadc when all the leaders there qualify to be his grandchildren.
“So what is the way forward? Nobody will come to our rescue in this country, it is our responsibility to liberate ourselves and I want to say before the crisis ends, we have to escalate it so that we find a solution to it,” Tsvangirai told the workers.
“Workers, we do not need anyone to tell us what our situation is like. Already some of us believe that if we act in solidarity of your efforts we are doing it for the sake of liberating Zimbabweans so let’s be brave,” he added.
The former ZCTU secretary general said the number of workers in the country had tremendously dwindled as they used to fill this stadium in the 1990s accusing Mugabe’s government of waging “a war of attrition against the workers”.
Commenting on the recent xenophobic violence in South Africa, Tsvangirai concurred with South African President Jacob Zuma that African governments were also to blame as most people fled to South Africa to seek better fortunes.
He however, condemned the killing of blacks by fellow blacks saying it was unAfrican.
Addressing the same gathering Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn (MKD) leaders Simba Makoni announced that his party and others including Tsvangirai’s MDC, Dumiso Dabengwa’s Zapu and Lovemore Madhuku’s ANC had formed a coalition aimed at tackling Mugabe.
Speaking on behalf of the four parties Makoni told the workers that it was not only them who were under siege but the country in its entirety including even the ruling elite themselves.
“I am here representing four political parties in trying to deal with the problems the country is facing and these include MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai who is here, Zapu President Dumiso Dabengwa and Lovemore Madhuku’s NCA.
“The four of us agreed to work together and we are courting others including other politicians in and outside the country. We are also engaging non politicians, business people and everyone who cares about the welfare of this country to join us. Let’s all stand up and fight because we are being ruled by cruel, corrupt and greed leaders who only care about themselves,” Makoni said.
ZCTU president George Nkiwane also slammed Mugabe for paying lip service to workers’ plight.
“What we are witnessing in Zimbabwe is leadership failure. The country is in a crisis and from the look of things, this year is going to be one of the most difficult years ever with the country facing drought yet government does not seem to be in a hurry to mitigate the situation,” said Nkiwane, adding that more than half the country’s population depended on food aid.
Commenting on the disappearance of journalist-cum human rights activist Itai Dzamara’s almost two months ago, Nkiwane also laid the blamed on Mugabe.
He called on the authorities to come clean on Dzamara’s whereabouts demanding that he be brought back alive.
“These barbaric acts shy away from basic freedoms, rights and protection as guaranteed by the national constitution. Dzamara’s disappearance after criticising president Robert Mugabe must be condemned by all progressive forces and he must be brought back, ” the ZCTU president said.
The workers also demanded that Mugabe provides the 2,2 million jobs he promised as well as remittance of union dues from employers by his government among other things.
The May Day commemorations were also attended by Members of Parliament drawn mainly from the MDC.