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Zimbabwe Opposition MDC to Stage Protest Over Declining Economy, Joblessness

FILE: A rioter wearing a police helmet taken from a police officer joins angry protestors in Harare, Monday, July, 4, 2016.

The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) led by Nelson Chamisa is expected to stage a public protest in Harare today over the deteriorating economic situation in Zimbabwe, high unemployment rate and other issues.

In a statement headlined ‘Why You Should Join the Demonstration’, the MDC listed six promises made by President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government, which the party says have not been achieved and are a major concern to most Zimbabweans.

FILE: For weeks now, Zimbabwe shops have been largely empty in some cases forcing buyers only to buy a limited amount of goods to ease shortages, Oct. 15, 2018. (C.Mavhunga/VOA)
FILE: For weeks now, Zimbabwe shops have been largely empty in some cases forcing buyers only to buy a limited amount of goods to ease shortages, Oct. 15, 2018. (C.Mavhunga/VOA)

The statement read in part, “Since Mnangagwa took over power in a military coup last November he has made countless promises which today, one year on, is turning out to be nothing but a cocktail of lies. He promised to stabilise the economy in 100 days but today the economy is now worse off than what it was then.

“Mnangagwa promised to arrest all those who externalized money after the elections, today no one has been arrested and corruption is still the order of the day. He promised bank queues will disappear in less than 100 days after elections but now bank queues are worse with most banks now on weekly encashment of less than $50.”

The MDC noted that there were promises of attracting foreign direct investment in order to recapitalize state enterprises such as ZISCO Steel, the National Railways of Zimbabwe and Cold Storage Company, “but today these companies are in comatose and are even failing to pay workers their dues amounting to hundreds of millions. No investment has been realized a year later, instead more companies are closing

“Mnangagwa’s government promised to review the working conditions of all civil servants starting with critical areas, but alas the same civil servants have been banned from demonstrating, nurses were fired, teachers were threatened and salaries have been reduced by over 40% through price increases and transfer charges. The cruel reality, Banks have increased their charges. Mobile transfer charges have gone up with a ridiculous 2% transfer charge on every transaction.”

The government has promised to cut the wage bill through removing ghost workers believed to be ruling party youth militia operating mainly in rural areas.

The MDC also said the government has failed to create employment as promised during its election campaign this year.

Zimbabwe graduates
Zimbabwe graduates

“The regime promised to create employment for tens of thousands university grandaunts but today they are joining millions of unemployed youths. More Zimbabweans are leaving the country than before. Fellow Zimbabweans it's time to open our eyes and say enough is enough to this dispensation of lies. The time is now that we all say enough is enough to this evil dispensation of lies!”:

Reacting to the MDC planned protest, the Zimbabwean government said Chamisa’s party will be responsible for any violence or damage to public and private property.

At the same time, Zanu PF activists are planning to stage their own protest in what the party says will be designed to protect private and public property.

Zanu PF’s Central Committee member, Believe Gaule, said the MDC has a hidden agenda.

Interview With Believe Gaule
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“They know that there is more than meets the eye. They have a hidden agenda as the MDC has been complaining about what it calls the stolen vote. The Mnangagwa government is trying its best to sort out the deteriorating economic situation. So, he should be given time to address this issue.”

Zimbabwe has been of late facing serious shortages of basic commodities and skyrocketing prices of goods following the introduction of a two percent electronic money transfer tax.

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