Jobless graduates plot mega anti-Mugabe demo

HARARE - With the Zimbabwean economy continuing to die, and poverty and unemployment rates reaching catastrophic levels, jobless university and other college graduates are the latest disaffected constituency planning their own mega demonstration against the government — with a massive “million-man” march scheduled for early next month.

The planned demo comes as Harare also braces for up to 20 000 protesters this Saturday when angry women march against grinding poverty and hunger in the country which they blame on Mugabe and Zanu PF’s failed policies of the past 36 years.

The spokesperson of the Zimbabwe Coalition of Unemployed Graduates (ZCUG), Samuel Meso, told the Daily News yesterday that the planned march was meant to crank up the pressure on President Robert Mugabe and his ruling Zanu PF to provide them with the 2,2 million jobs that they promised the nation ahead of the hotly-disputed 2013 elections.

Meso spoke as anger against Mugabe and the government has been building over the past few months, as fed up Zimbabweans agitate against the worsening rot in the country — manifested by rising poverty and jobless levels, economic decay, endemic corruption and abject failure by the government to fulfil even its most basic obligations.

And instead of creating just a fraction of its promised 2,2 million jobs, Mugabe’s Zanu PF administration has disastrously presided over the closure of thousands of companies and loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs over the past three years alone — leading the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) to estimate that not more than 10 percent of the country’s employable population is formally employed.

Consequently, even university graduates with masters degrees have found themselves on the ever increasing jobless scrap heap, with many of them now being forced to eke out a difficult existence as street vendors selling sweets and other trinkets in urban areas — an invidious situation that has now triggered the idea of their own version of the “million-man march in our graduation gowns which are currently gathering dust at home”.

“Firstly, we want the issue of unemployment to be solved. When this government was campaigning, they promised us jobs, in fact 2,2 million jobs. They are still in power and have not delivered on this promise.

“The second issue is corruption where we have our head of State leading thieves. The situation has become so bad that corruption has become institutionalised in the country. The third thing is injustice. You can’t tell me that 36 years after independence we are still struggling with civil rights, as government is still using colonial tactics to deal with legitimate concerns.

“The Constitution is clear in section 59, about freedoms and that people are free to demonstrate and petition government. It’s the citizens who should hold the government accountable because they are the ones who put those people in power,” Meso thundered.

“We are graduates and we are not just complaining. We also want to participate in the economy and offer solutions to current problems. We are expecting more than a million people to join the march.

“When you look at the number of people who lost their jobs in recent years, they number more than 700 000. And then there are the tens of thousands of graduates who are churned out by our universities each year,” he added.

“We will plan for the march properly so that everyone comes out without fear of being brutalised by the police. We will notify the police in time and we are planning the demonstration for the first week of August,” Meso said.

Besides the scores of technical colleges and other training institutions scattered around the country, Zimbabwe now boasts of more than a dozen universities, all of them churning out tens of thousands of graduates each year, most of whom are capped by Mugabe himself who is the chancellor of all State universities.

Sadly, almost all of these graduates, unless they join the country’s large Diaspora community, have a slim chance of finding employment in Zimbabwe. And because of the country’s dire economic condition, it is also very difficult for them to start their own businesses.

Some of the universities in the country include Africa University, Bindura University of Science Education, Catholic University in Zimbabwe, Chinhoyi University of Technology, Great Zimbabwe University, Harare Institute of Technology, Lupane State University, Midlands State University, National University of Science and Technology, Reformed Church University, Solusi University, University of Zimbabwe, Women’s University in Africa, Ezekiel Guti University and Zimbabwe Open University.

The demonstration by the graduates comes at a time of rising political tension and growing incidences of mass action and violent riots in the country, as Zimbabweans demand better living conditions.

Just last week, women took to the streets in Bulawayo in their thousands, beating pots in protest against hunger and poverty. A few days before that, commuter omnibus drivers and touts also rioted in anger against “revenue” police roadblocks.

Protests have also erupted in Beitbridge, as traders showed their unhappiness with the government’s recent decision to ban the importation of basic goods under the open general licence.

In addition, social media has also increasingly become an important organising platform for Zimbabweans agitating for change in the country.

A social media movement dubbed #ThisFlag, which has been led by Pastor Evan Mawarire, has been described as one of the biggest civic movements in post-independent Zimbabwe.

In what has been dubbed a long winter of discontent, Mugabe’s government has for the second month running, failed to pay soldiers and the police on time, amid confusion as to when this will happen, as State coffers continue to dip in the face of the dying economy.

Analysts say Zimbabwe under Mugabe’s watch has slid from being a regional breadbasket to a much-derided basket case, to the extent of failing to feed its people.

For the first time since January 1998 when food riots left seven people dead, the country experienced violent riots a fortnight ago as a result of poor policies and rising poverty levels.

Comments (22)

We need a 5 million women and men march to support the endgame. We should not restrict ourselves to ZANU PF thugs manufactured one million march.

Zvichapera - 19 July 2016

If it is true that the jobless graduates want to demonstrate against Mugabe, then it is confirmation that they do not understant what education is all about. The people they should confront are their lecturers who did not teach their fathers and predecessors how to create employment and not to be employees. If all universities teach everyone to be employees who is going to create the jobs? Ask them why they did not teach you to create jobs. The graduates should also ask themselves why they together with their parents can not create jobs. If they cannot create jobs, is it logical for them to expect Mugabe to create jobs for them?

ADF - 19 July 2016

ADF you are shallow minded no wonder some people say little education is dangerous...very danderous you do not know the chain ...what is job creation you not what is means.....its no about making bed of tomatoes....of fixing you all car or panning 1 carate of gold......job creation its involves a chain of activities ......enda unotsvage anoziwa akuudze ......enda unotenga comerce o.level as a satarting point....shame....pajob creation panoda capital/mari..labour/various skills....raw mateials to mentions a few .kuti mafactory avhure zvoda mari zvinhu zvacho mozvitengesera kupi ...zvimwe moshandisa zvimwe mofanirwa kutengesa kuti mugowana mishonga nezvimwe zvakadaro in those processes you will be creating employment.......saka ADF unoti ku Uz vanhu vanodzidza chinhu chimwe here....all the skills vanhu vanodzidza zvese kuma colleges ne kuma university to fit in this chain.......chain....kusvika ....pasadza rawadya ...izvozvi...saka mugabe is irelevent/muzhambiringwa munyemba pane chain iyi hapana chaanobatsiri pa employment creation munyepi....mukuru pasi naye

dofo - 19 July 2016


#bunyonyweni - 19 July 2016

I think this ADF chap's initials means Ahh! Dofo Futseke, because how can someone be so dumb to fail to comprehend the simple fact that job creation is done in order to absorb the unemployed?Even if the graduates being churned out by universities were to start their own companies,are they not supposed to employ to get the companies moving?Stop displaying your cotton picking mind on serious issues that are giving right thinking people nightmares.

Janana wa Bikaz - 20 July 2016

ADF is definitely shallow. Govt is supposed to create a conducive environment for investment, business, hence creating employment. This govt is not investment friendly-they are arrogant, selfish, greedy, cruel, corrupt etc. Listen to their comments. Zvichapera chete.

Shumbaimwe - 20 July 2016

zec can we have a voters roll on line and if possible make people vote online thank you

safa ngendlala - 20 July 2016

ADF you are either demented or just dull, to say it bluntly. It is the responsibility of the government to create an enabling environment for domestic and foreign investment which in turn create jobs. i bet you basically support anything ZANU

Master - 20 July 2016

How can the country honestly develop tiine vanhu vanofunga saADF? Such arrogance and shallow mindedness, nxaaaa

mai J - 20 July 2016

ITS AMAZING THAT MUGABE HAS CREATED SO MANY ORGANISATIONS THAT ARE OPPOSING HIS GOVERNANCE FAR MORE THAN HIS PREDECESSOR IAN DOUGLAS SMITH, Mugabe has created, multiple political parties, numerous civic organisation such as Diaspora association, Zimbabwe Unemployed Graduates Associations, ThisFlag etc. On a very serious note, I never knew that Mugabe had this magnanimous level of incompetence, that almost 98% of the country population would be against him.

amina - 20 July 2016

ADF is an idiot..cant stop laughing at the chap.

ADF is a ZANU-PF agent - 20 July 2016

ADF I urge you to visit a psychiatrist before it is to late. I dont blame you I know you are a PSYCHO in capital letters

pp - 20 July 2016

For as long we continue following Mugabe who has moved us back ward past the great depression of the 1930s and now we are right into the middle of stone age we will never have jobs in this country . The only way forward is to have Mugabe out of power and this can be done by every one from all political parties and pple from all walks of life and please we must not worry about few radicalised idiots who still think Mugabe will deliver at the age of 92 yrs .

Diibulaanyika - 20 July 2016

I hate myself for having worn t-shirt with Mugabe 1979,-80 even if if i was a young boy. Kupururudzira n'anga neinobata mai. Shuwa Mavhaire akazarurirwa kare, chimunhu chiri kutonga chinenge chakabva kuEquatorial Guinea ichi. Kusakwana. nxaaaaaaaaaaaa

kkkkkkkkkkk - 20 July 2016

ADF is an anus like his master, bob

Benito - 20 July 2016

@ ADF, RGM and Zanu promised 2.2million jobs thats what the marchers will be demanding as per the zanu campaign manifesto.

Rukangarabwe - 21 July 2016

@ADF: my brother, you are daft. yes the unemployed graduates have already decided to start their own vending businesses and alas, your government blocked that initiative by banning imports. so who is a fool the university graduates or you?

IsheZimuto - 21 July 2016

The unemployed graduates should also demand an end to extension of who would have reached retirement age under the guise of two year renewable contracts as if tha person was doing something unique which no ordinary person can do. These people when recontracted then get two salaries. his pension and the normal salary on contract. Two years back the Cevil service commission created what they called "the elderly office" simply because it didnt want to retire the likes of Kanjengo, former HR director of Higher education. Someone drawing two salaries and yet the gvt says it doesnt have money.

Robsugar - 22 July 2016

Until you university graduates understand that politicians are members of your own society and unless society changes the way it thinks things remain the same. Post colonial trauma is very complex. As a teacher, Mugabe was never taught how to create jobs, you lecturers were never taught how to create jobs so in turn they did not teach you how to create jobs. The strategy in all this is that the former colonial master/foreigner created an opportunity to create jobs for Africans whilst exploiting your resources and your intellect. You cannot ask the questions I am asking you to ask because you have been conditioned like broiler which never question why this man gives them pellets and water everyday.

ADF - 25 July 2016

ADF, ADF, i must say, you have a way with words. i wont stoop and call you names, but, hey...... how many degrees does the president have? anyway, to eveyrone, why is all the blame put on Mugabe? does that mean the other politicians are not bad? if not worse? you say he has led a band of thieves, does that mean the party will be dissolved when the next leader comes along?

ndiani - 25 July 2016

Aaaaaaah dofo iro uyai muone dofo aaaa tsvina idiot u dont understand the concept of businesss hiiii ADF ADF dofo unofunga kuti u just become a businessman pasina mari aaaa doooofooooooo chimwana chabobo asi uri chatunga kani

zama zama - 26 July 2016

according to the Keynesian theory,ADF thats if you know it, it is only the gorvenment that can create conditions conducive for job creations in such a situation like the one we have .i wont tuka you but rather i will help you understand.even if the country had jobs they would never be able to accomodate every job seeking person ,the number of people seeking jobs are way more than the job opportunities available and considering that akuna mari how can someone create a job in this situation .those that have tried have had their bussinesses trembled upon e.g statutory instrument 64 yeZimra, banning yemabhero nezvimwe zvakawanda.ADF you need to think outside the box bra

sky - 4 September 2016

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