Job cuts cause fresh exodus

CAPE TOWN - “I always thought I would be the last one to leave Zimbabwe. But with the current situation, I had no choice but to come down here to fend for my family,” said 42-year-old Calvin Kavara.

The skilled engineer and father of three feels betrayed by his Zanu PF party which has failed to deliver its election promises of 2,2 million jobs and has presided over more job losses since 2013 due to mismanagement of the economy.

“I had hoped against hope that things would get better soon, but after I was laid off about a month ago, I had to make some tough decisions,” he said with a sad smile on his face.

Kavara — a casualty of the recent Supreme Court Labour ruling which saw an estimated 20 000 people losing their jobs in less than a month — joins thousands of people who are crossing Zimbabwe’s borders daily in search of greener pastures.

Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Mozambique, South Africa, the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States, among other countries, have for more than a decade become a sanctuary for Zimbabwe’s economic refugees and the trend is rising again — after a reprieve during the coalition government era between 2009 and 2013 — due to a resurgent economic meltdown.

Economist Eddie Cross estimates that up to 5 000 people a day are now crossing the country’s southern border into South Africa, a number he said could translate to more than 40 000 a week or two million people by the end of this year.

“Some will return but the majority will stay and seek new lives. Can South Africa take such an additional burden at this time? I think not,” he said.

The Bulawayo South legislator blamed the mass exodus into South Africa — where only a few months ago Zimbabweans were fleeing from xenophobia attacks — on Zimbabwe’s deteriorating economic situation.

“Every aspect of life is affected by the economy and how it is performing. Despite the statements by the pundits, our economy has resumed the downwards slide that characterised the economy from 1997 to 2008.

“Inflows to State coffers have shrunk and suddenly there is no money in the market. Companies are retrenching staff or simply winding up their affairs. Human flight has resumed with a vengeance into any country that will have our economic refugees,” he said.

Political analyst Blessing Vava says President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF have failed the majority of Zimbabweans and cannot claim to be their saviour by rushing labour law amendments through Parliament.

“The collapse of Zimbabwe’s economy originated from ‘market fundamentalism’, but the recent crisis has been due to a total collapse of the nationalist interventionist paradigm, itself a creature of the Third Chimurenga — the chaotic land reform — and ZimAsset policies,” he said.

Vava noted that government recently indicated plans to cut the public sector wage bill to 40 percent of total revenue from the current 80 percent.

“Therefore, the Supreme Court ruling is not surprising: it had been planned already. And it is clear that Harare is succumbing to pressure from institutions like the IMF and World Bank, and of course the East, which are prescribing these austerity measures as pre-conditions for a financial bailout.

“It is shocking why the international community is quiet while all this is happening in Zimbabwe. Their only loud cries were when Cecil the Lion was killed. It boggles the mind,” he added.

MDC secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora said Zimbabwe can revive its economic fortunes under Morgan Tsvangirai, who proved his mettle during the inclusive government era when live improved significantly for the majority of Zimbabweans.

“Tsvangirai is an astute visionary. He went into the inclusive government to improve the economy, reduce State-sponsored violence and delivered a new people driven democratic Constitution. Tsvangirai and the MDC achieved just that,” he said.

Mwonzora  said the MDC leader — who has controversially lost elections to his political nemesis Mugabe, albeit under controversial circumstances since 2002 — remains the best bet for the ailing country.

“Though famous and enjoying mass support, Tsvangirai remains down to earth and approachable. Resultantly, the masses love and trust him. That is why he remains the face of the struggle and Zimbabwe’s best foot forward in the long and arduous fight against tyranny, repression and deprivation,” he said.

Comments (15)

this country needs God... no1 else, nothing else..

gg - 24 August 2015

At last. Look like the Great Leader has achieved perfect economic policy. No whites; no farms; no food; no people.

Mike Cattermole - 25 August 2015

We are being foisted from crisis to crisis for 35 years.

Gurinhwa - 25 August 2015

i forsee more trouble in other countries for Zimbabweans..Mugabe be old enough and just retire..your people are suffering madhala

nasty o - 25 August 2015

“It is shocking why the international community is quiet while all this is happening in Zimbabwe. Their only loud cries were when Cecil the Lion was killed. It boggles the mind,” he added. Question #1. Who is the International Community ? I hope you are not referring to people in other countries who have more than enough of their problems to solve. Question # 2. Cecil the lion is no person but an animal that plays no part in Zimbabwe politics. If it could vote I am sure it could do so wisely. If it could take part in protests against 35 years of mismanagement of our resources I am confident it would be seen in the far, far front of the procession. If Cecil could talk I am sure he would have told you he is his own liberator. I AM SICKENED BY PEOPLE LIKE VAVA WHO EXPECT FOREIGNERS TO SORT OUR POLITICAL MESS FOR OURSELF. Ofcourse it makes a lot of sense for outsiders to cry loud for a lion than for people who think they are entiltled to be saved by other people and theirs is to cry, cry and cry loudly for help to be heard by other people who have nothing to do with their country.

Masamba Akareyo - Tanganda - 25 August 2015

The problem in Zimbabwe is the people. They don`t know what they deserve. Mugabe is only taking advantage of that. The choice is ours. History tells us nobody is more powerful than the masses - no matter how much propaganda and fire power he may have.

Masamba Akareyo - Tanganda - 25 August 2015

What exactly can the "international community" do about situation in Zim? I agree with M Akareyo the problem is with us. Remember Bob won an election. We are letting him ruin, I mean run the country, most probably to the astonishment of the said International Community. Lets unite maZimba and tackle that gang of charlatans that is letting our country reach such unimaginable depths

Eddie - 26 August 2015

Zimbos, do not look up to the international community for help. It does not work like that. International community is not affected but us zimbos. We know what we want so lets achieve it. Everyone knows Zanu ddnt not win the elections in 2013 bt we just kept quiet. Zanu zvema elections haina kumbowina since MDC came into play but we just keep quiet. Lets go to the streets. Tisu anhu acho. Instead od creating jobs, people are now dismissed willy nilly. The only man for now, who has enough asernal to resuscitate the economy is MORGAN TSVANGIRAI Full stop. People might call him names but he is the only one who can do that. Forget about Joyce Mujuru unless if she join hands with Morgan. I say she is not capable because she has been part and parcel of the regime which led us to the situation where we are now. Anyway, the pendulum is swinging in Morgan's favour. Asjik

piaget - 26 August 2015

change is the only constant thing in our lives and as the old adage says..''be the change you want to see''. Zimbabwe needs redemption and it begins with you..Fear is really affecting us as a whole. Look at the masses now, no jobs, no proper lives all for what? ZIMBABWE WHATS HAPPENING TO YOU?

Tah - 27 August 2015

We better rush to Europe now at the height of this refugee crises by imigrants from Asia.

JUZO - 8 September 2015

Asijiki macomrades.i say lets fight.not tomorrow but today ,dont wait for morgan to give go ahead .we must fight and we must fight now .kusiri kufa ndekupi

truth - 15 October 2015

I also thought i will be the last to leave Zimbabwe but when i lost my job i had no option than to seek for greener pastures and some are even risk

tee cee - 15 October 2015

tr

chipo chido - 25 October 2015

"Non but ourselves shall liberate ourselves"-Fay Chung

War Vet - 8 November 2015

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