Prioritise the Freedom, Emancipation and Dignity of Workers in Zimbabwe
International Worker’s Day is a significant day that recognizes the struggle and contributions of workers globally. As the United Zimbabwe Alliance, we appreciate the important role played by Zimbabwean workers and we recognise their contributions towards a better nation. We value the hard work, honesty and resilience of the workforce in Zimbabwe. The workers in our nation continue to soldier on with many striving to make Zimbabwe a better place despite the many adversities they face on a daily basis.
As UZA, we take this opportunity to reflect on the situation of workers in our country on this International Workers’ Day. We acknowledge the integral role that workers play in driving our economy and building our nation. The reality in Zimbabwe is that both formal and informal workers in our country are facing a plethora of challenges that hinder their growth, development and welfare. The country’s ailing economy has rendered salaries worthless meaning that the majority of those gainfully employed are failing to provide for the basic needs of their families. This has greatly diminished the quality of life for Zimbabwe’s workers and their dependents. The economy has self-dollarized and inflation continues to increase yet salaries hardly change. The bulk of the workers are surviving on a hand to mouth basis and have been reduced to paupers.
In the formal sector, the failure by employers to adhere to minimum wage regulations has left many workers struggling to make ends meet. Workers are faced with low wages and job insecurity with some even going for months without getting paid. On the other hand, informal workers, who form the backbone of our economy, are also facing grievous challenges. They are not protected by any form of social security and they often are subjected to unfair labour practices, with little access to legal remedies. Their lack of access to credit facilities and financial support systems makes them highly vulnerable, and unfortunately, their plight is largely being ignored by policy-makers. When teachers, nurses and those in the civil service communicate their concerns to government, they are subjected to threats or even fired for demanding a decent living wage.
It is regrettable that the welfare of our workers continues to be a concern in a country such as Zimbabwe with such great potential for economic development. There is a need for a comprehensive review of our national labour laws to provide a better and more updated labour environment for all of Zimbabwe’s workers.
As UZA, we urge the current government to prioritize the wellbeing of workers by creating an enabling environment that allows workers to earn decent wages for their labor, have job security and work in decent conditions. UZA’s vision is an empowered society where the social, political and economic rights of Zimbabwean workers are protected. We envision a democratic, free and transparent society that is conducive to the prosperity of all citizens. Our party is committed to protecting the rights of workers and investing in the social protection of all citizens to enhance the realisation of national unity, dignity, posterity, and justice.
UZA will invest in employment creation and ensure the provision of decent work for all as well as the protection of the welfare and rights of all workers. Our party will craft policies and invest in the formalisation of informal work and ensure safer working environments for Zimbabwe’s workforce. The freedom, emancipation and dignity of Zimbabwean workers is our priority. The UZA government will arrest inflation and revive the economy of the country. We will uphold the freedom, dignity and social well-being of the people of Zimbabwe. We bring forward a new vision for Zimbabwe, one in which all citizens are equal before the laws of the country and share the same basic rights and political, cultural, religious and racial tolerance.
UZA rejects all forms of prejudice and discrimination based on colour, race, religion, disability and gender. We are equally opposed to any forms of unjustifiable and entrenched privilege and inequality. We stand with our brothers and sisters in the struggle for better working conditions and urge everyone to join us in this quest for fair and just labour practices in all sectors of our economy.
Workers’ rights are human rights.
Together, we can make Zimbabwe a better place.
Happy International Workers Day!