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Unions give ED ultimatum

BY XOLISANI NCUBE

Trade unions from across the divide have threatened to roll fresh protests if President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government does not address the deepening economic problems facing the country.

The Zanu PF-aligned Zimbabwe Federation of Trade Unions (ZFTU) alongside the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) issued the threats ahead of May Day celebrations this week,

ZFTU secretary-general Kennias Shamuyarira said Mnangagwa must act before schools reopen next week or face protests

“It is time the president took a position and say enough is enough,” he said.

“The workers are suffering; in fact, the civil servants who are toiling for his administration are going home empty-handed.

“If these businesspeople are his friends, since we have seen him meet them several times, he must tell them that they should stop this nonsense or the people
will react.”

He said the ZFTU would take its May Day celebrations to Beitbridge where they hope to address mostly workers drawn from ranches, conservancies and commercial
farms.

“Our theme this year is very simple, we are saying ‘cartels and proxies of international monopoly capital, your time is up’. We are saying these cartels should just stop this nonsense,” he said.

ZCTU president Peter Mutasa (pictured below), who is facing treason charges after calling for a stayaway in January to protest against a steep increase in
fuel prices, said workers were being pushed against the wall.

“They may arrest union leaders, even kill them as we know that they have the capacity to do so, as long as the situation remains as it is, the people will
act and they will act according to the dictates of the law,” he said.

“They shall demonstrate, they shall petition and this they will do in a bid to force the government to act.”

Mutasa said they were giving Mnangagwa up to next month when schools reopen to address the economic crisis.
“Our theme is that ‘we are at a crossroads! Unite! Fight neoliberalism and austerity’,” he said. “We are saying the capitalists who have taken over this
government should not be allowed to play around with our rights as workers.”

The January ZCTU stayaway saw Mnangagwa unleashing the army leading to the death of 17 people and the arrest of more more than 1 000 people for looting.

Scores of unionists, civil society activists and opposition legislators were charged with treason after they were linked to the protests.

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