South Africa’s labour federation, Congress of South African Trade Union (COSATU) has opposed ANC’s allegations that unrest in Harare is being sponsored by foreign elements seeking regime change.
Speaking in a statement on Wednesday, the federation urged Zimbabwe’s labour union to intensify their mass action until the government addresses their concerns.
The South African labour federation also warned President Robert Mugabe not take lightly the growing voices of discontent but instead attend to the issues being raised by the masses.
COSATU’s international relations secretary, Bongani Masuku, said: “The masses have the power and right to determine who and how should they be ruled.
With an unemployment rate of alarming and very huge percentage, Zimbabweans are now scattered around the region, which is a clear sign of failure by a government to cater for its people.”
The statement was released after the federation had a meeting with its Zimbabwean counterpart, the Zimbabwean Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) in Johannesburg on Wednesday.
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The labour union also demanded that those detained during the protests be released. It further reminded the government of Zimbabwe that it has a duty to create employment and meet the basic needs of its citizens, if it wants to curb civil strife and improve their living conditions.
Zimbabwe is recently rocked with unrest owing to deepening economic hardships for the ordinary people. The ANC, which supports 92-year-old Mugabe, alleged that the unrest was being stoked by foreign powers keen to force him out of office.
ANC secretary Gwede Mantashe responded to the deepening protest by saying: “The struggling Zimbabwean economy, which has been going on for a long time, should not give a licence to regime change elements to revive restlessness in Zimbabwe.
Every citizen of Zimbabwe should appreciate the difficulties and contribute positively in the regulation of the Zimbabwean economy.”
Meanwhile, the current heavy-handedness of Zimbabwe’s ruling party, Zanu-PF, in dealing with perceived enemies has been likened to 2005 Operation Restore Order/Murambatsvina.
The 2005 Murambatsvina campaign, which took place in Zimbabwe affected at least 700,000 people directly through loss of their home or livelihood. The United Nations estimate also had it that the campaign could have indirectly affected around 2.4 million people.