SOUTHERN NEWS | Dube wades into 'foreign' labour saga

BULAWAYO - Makokoba MP and former Cabinet minister Tshinga Dube has waded into the emotional “jobs for the boys” debate — by calling corporates and parastatals with a presence in the city to give first preference to Bulawayo residents whenever they are recruiting, especially for menial jobs.

Dube said his remarks should not be misconstrued as fanning tribalism or regionalism.

Instead, they should be seen as stopping a “worrying trend” which has seen Bulawayo residents missing out on jobs due to the recruitment of those outside the city – a culture he said was now causing social distress to the residents.

“I have a lot of complaints coming from my constituency in terms of labour practice in the city.

“Firstly, Bulawayo is a metropolitan province, where people are from all over the country. They are all Bulawayo people there is no question of tribe, origin or race.

“The problem that we face is that when a few job opportunities open up, the people who are here are not considered by the companies who work from here.

“Sometimes they bring buses of their own people from other provinces to come and work here. This means that those young people in Bulawayo have no chance to get a job,” the forthright Dube told Southern News.

He said this was one of factors fuelling the mass exodus of potential good labour from young people to neighbouring South Africa.

“We don’t ever say there should be segregation on regional basis, but what we are saying is that those who live in any city should have first preference rather than importing labour from other towns.

“Recently, there were vacancies at Zesa and they employed 150 people and all these people were ferried from other provinces to take up the jobs.

“This happened while the young people here were watching,” Dube said adding that “this has created a very low morale among the people of this city.”

He said what was disappointing was the fact that most organisations especially parastatals were no longer going via the labour office as should be the case when hiring.

“They don’t go through the labour office; the office is just like a dummy. They deliberately do that such that they pick their relatives, friends and those who will have given them kickbacks in return for employment.

“I am very disappointed I know people will be very quick to say I am talking tribalism but I am saying everyone who lives in Bulawayo regardless of tribe should be given first preference.

“It’s very difficult to legislate against the movement of people, anyone has a right to work anywhere in this country as long as he or she is a Zimbabwean citizen.

“What we are saying is it’s only fair when you are hiring labour for menial jobs to hire locals because that’s where they live and they have nowhere to go. Of course as for specialised jobs you can choose wherever because expertise in a certain area will be the priority,” said Dube.

Dube said the same trend was taking place at local tertiary institutions.

“For example even our tertiary students every province has a college but you find students from outside come and take up all the vacancies, leaving locals stranded in the end they turn to criminal activities or cross to South Africa.”

Dube said Bulawayo was in a double tragedy as besides the “importation” of labour, there was political segregation where menial jobs are awarded to those in the main opposition MDC when it came to council-related opportunities.

“As you are aware that Bulawayo is controlled by MDC, it’s a pity that those who don’t belong to that party are not given the chance to work as they are employed on political basis.”

Dube’s sentiments resonate with rights and several civic groups in the country who have previously expressed their disquiet over the habit of recruiting outside Bulawayo even when those qualified are resident in the city.

Apart from recruiting outside Bulawayo, several companies have been accused of bringing their personnel to officiate at events in the region despite having staff dedicated in that part of the country.


Gukurahundi ceremony gets govt thumbs up

RADICAL pressure group Ibhetshu Likazulu will today hold commemorations of the Gukurahundi victims at Bhalagwe after finally getting clearance to converge at one of the dark spots of the 1980s atrocities.

Last year, then president Robert Mugabe’s administration ordered police to block pro-democracy groups and Ibhetshu Likazulu from holding the commemorations at the same venue in Kezi, Matabeleland South Province, where it is claimed more people were slain than in any other area during the dark period.

However, his predecessor Emmerson Mnangagwa has taken a different approach altogether preferring to have the matter addressed, although there is no universal acceptance among civic groups and his critics that his government will bring closure to the highly-emotive issue.

“We were clear that we will go back irrespective of them stopping us, fortunately this time we got the police clearance.

“The prayer is important to give survivors an opportunity to share their experiences and pray for those who lost their lives that their souls might find peace,” said Ibhetshu Likazulu secretary-general Mbuso Fuzwayo.

On December 22 last year, Ibhetshu Likazulu was for the first time allowed to conduct a street march and a commemorative event at Stanley Hall as part of remembering the fallen victims.

Today’s first leg of the commemorations which is being held under the theme Dispossessed in Life and Dishonoured in Death: Bhalagwe Victims Remembered, will involve several high profile people.

Among them would be traditional leaders, politicians and the church.

Fuzwayo said the second leg would cover other affected areas like Tsholotsho, Lupane, Nkayi and Silobela among others.

“We are starting with Bhalagwe. We will visit different districts with mass graves. Bhalagwe houses bones of people from different districts so it is symbolic to start the programme with it or end with it,” he said.

Thousands of civilians claimed to have been brought from various districts were allegedly thrown into a disused mine at Bhalagwe during the government-led crackdown against suspected bandits in Kezi.

Since the fall of Mugabe and the assuming of power by Mnangagwa as the country’s president, rights and civic society groups have stepped up pressure on the new government to deal with outstanding issues emanating from previous violent conflicts.

Topping the issues civic groups want Mnangagwa and his government to dispense with is the Gukurahundi issue.

During his maiden appearance at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in January, Mnangagwa said government was keen to address Gukurahundi atrocities.

“We are not saying the past must be thrown away from history, it has happened — it is there. Just a week ago, I signed a Bill — the National Healing and Reconciliation Bill — into an Act and have assigned one of my vice presidents to deal with that one so that the communities that were affected can air their grievances and challenges with recommendations from that commission we should be able to address those issues,” Mnangagwa said.

“The most important thing is that what has happened has happened. What can we do about the past?

“We have put up a commission National Peace and Reconciliation Commission to deal with that issue; that should not stop us from having a better future where all the communities should be united, should cooperate, should love each other, should work together.

“This is the message which we have. We are more worried now about how in the future we should have a united Zimbabwe.

“Let me assure you just recently, I had (a) meeting (with) chiefs from Matabeleland discussing with them, because I feel there is that bad patch in our history and we would want to correct it, we would want to say whatever wrong was committed we must say, the government of the day must apologise.

“Wherever a community has suffered any injury, if it is possible to repair that injury, do it , so as a community, as a government, and traditional leaders we have agreed on how to deal with that issue. I am happy (about) that,” Mnangagwa added.

The Gukurahundi massacres have been a thorn in the flesh for Mnangagwa before and after he came to power.

Just recently, there were demonstrations by Matabeleland-based human rights groups over his role in the massacres which occurred between 1982 and 1987 when government unleashed a North Korea-trained army, the Fifth Brigade, to crush insurrection in Matabeleland and parts of Midlands regions.

    Comments (4)

    When people from matebeleland complain they are called tribalist but when other tribes do the same its fine. at least one man who spoke about the former president succession has said it openly again unlike other politician who always sing their supper. Some fews ago i went to amhlophe high school in byo all student teachers from hillside came from the northen part of the country and UEC the majority students guess where they come from but i have met a lot of job seekers from this region with good O and A level passes who apply to these institutions and they do not succeed. its a time bomb lina elikwenzayo it wil backfire one day. I see what Mthwakazi thing is all about

    Sugar Minoti - 22 February 2018

    Well said Tshinga! Vele wena uyaTshinga and you speak the truth! Go to Mpilo and you will find that a list of student nurses to be trained is sent from Harare and only about ten trainees are selected from the Mpilo files and this is done in the presence of police at times! This list from Harare is given preference ! Rubbish of the highest order! Goto Mpilo dear reporter and do some investigation.

    Tom - 22 February 2018

    I think something must be done now. Last time when my boy wanted to do EHT with the ministry of health i was told that the list comes from Harare for Byo poly enrollment on the said course and this shocked me and i told my boy that its not for us and the next thing he lost hope and told him the truth that we dont belong to this country, we are second class citizen. Why cant those in charge do the recruitment in their respective provinces. The bamabazonke syndrom created corruption, nepotism and last tribalism though it came thru the grand plan from Zvogbo and company. Never theless my boy got something rewarding and has told me what i used to tell him and now has some negative attitudes to certain tribe becoz of what he sees and hear. hope the current regime and activities of mthwakazi will manage some changes and the implementation of the devolution concept might play a role.

    Qiniso - 22 February 2018

    Soon watch will happen at Egodini Terminal project, who are going to be employed especially on manial jobs where qualification is irrelevant and go to plumtree border post, vicotria falls border post, and b/bridge border post and watch who sweeps there and those who mann the gates. People always hide that people from this region want to go to Goli, thats a lie meant to prop up their evil deeds at the expence of our kith and kin. if a kid has exhausted all the avenues of getting employed thats when he goes the desperate route of down south. Vukani Mthwakazi

    Nomalanga - 22 February 2018

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