Zimbabwe’s opposition parties and the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) say local people should participate in the 2018 general elections in order to bring social and economic transformation to the southern African nation.
Speaking at an event organized by the ZCTU to commemorate Workers’ Day in Harare on Monday, several opposition party leaders said voting in the next elections is the only way Zimbabwean workers can improve their lives.
The opposition leaders and ZCTU representatives indicated that thousands of workers are struggling to make ends meet in Zimbabwe as they are in most cases unpaid by employers while those that get their salaries can’t access cash in banks.
ZCTU secretary general Japhet Moyo said life is tough for millions of workers, mostly vendors, who are trying to eke out a living in the streets.
Moyo said this may come to an end if workers register to vote in the forthcoming general polls, likely to feature several presidential candidates, including 93 year-old President Robert Mugabe.
In a statement, former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) said youth should spearhead the mobilization of Zimbabweans to vote in the next presidential, local government and council elections.
“My fellow countrymen and women, given our circumstance and all these visible signs of collapse around us, the real Workers Day is the day of the next election; when we must all turn out in our huge numbers to vote and make a huge statement about the Zimbabwe we want.
“We have real work to do at the next election and I urge all parents to encourage their children to participate in the politics of their country. I urge all the youth to come out in their numbers and determine, defend and secure the future that they want by participating in the next election. They certainly cannot outsource or contract out the determination of their own future to anyone.”
He said there must be no doubt in the mind of every Zimbabwean that next year’s election “provides us with a rare opportunity … a chance that comes once in every five years … to correct things in our country by voting in a new government that will bring back the dignity of the ordinary Zimbabwean.
“Fellow Zimbabweans, we can only be able to fight unemployment, poverty and inequalities if we use the perfect opportunity next year to vote for visionary men and women who will be able to extricate our country from its parlous predicament.”
The ZCTU is commemorating this year’s May Day under the theme ‘Fighting Unemployment, Poverty and Inequalities’.