Zim heads for massive demo over rising hardship
UNIVERSITY students, teachers and nurses have called for a national shutdown next Monday in a “fees must fall” protest and against the skyrocketing cost of living.
Teachers and nurses say they are failing to make ends meet, with their salaries having been battered by inflation while university students say new tuition fees are unaffordable.
In the private sector, there is also growing discontent with workers and their employers engaged in wage disputes, forcing some companies to pay a percentage of the wages in United States dollars.
Zimbabwe National Students Union (Zinasu) national spokesperson Lenon Mazuru said they wanted to register their discontent at the current state of affairs in the country by calling for a national shutdown.
“As the student fraternity, we are facing many challenges, we are saying the wages our parents are getting are not enough to cater for our fees. Policies which are in place are causing so much havoc, so much damage to the education sector. We need a lot of things which we are unable to afford,” Mazuru said.
“We are calling and inviting all other unions to support us on May 9. We need the government to address us and we need the crisis to end. This thing is way beyond ‘fees must fall’, hence everyone must take part. Every university, college, we are going to shut them down.”
The Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (Artuz) and Zimbabwe Professional Nurses Union (ZPNU) pledged full support for the shutdown, and urged their members to withdraw their services on the day.
Artuz president Obert Masaraure said: “We call upon teachers to completely withdraw their labour on May 9, 2022. Parents are urged to keep their children at home. The broader working class is urged to take heed of this call and demand a living wage from the bosses.”
ZPNU leader Robert Chiduku said the economic crisis, which was causing untold suffering to workers and could not be ignored any longer.
“There is a labour crisis, economic crisis, political crisis, human rights violation crisis, healthcare crisis, leadership deficit crisis and some more other crises which have birthed challenges that have put workers within the cycles of poverty,” Chiduku said.
“The economic crisis should be solved and the currency crisis should be rectified for it is the workers who are feeling the pinch of the economic crisis.”