A word of advise to Workers and Pensioners from a Trade Union activist, Pensioner and Politician
I became active in trade unionism and also in politics in both white and black rule. I can tell you the difference whites allowed us to do work politics with out interference ,black rule when it came started interfering with work politics,they introduced Workers Committees to replace Shopstewards and they started announcing wages on May Day rallies without even looking at factors such as size of an enterprise etc.This led to closures and retrenchments and final led to corruption.
Life to the workers started being tough around 1992 soon after the introduction of ESAP(Economic Structural Adjust ment Programme)workers and citizenry in general were hoodwinked and told the ecomic adjustment was homegrown there is nothing to fear on the other side factories started to close and capital flight to some SADC countries became the order of the day and mean while Trade Unions were now under scrutiny and the law demanded that all sector agreements be registered and any criticism of any government policy by trade unionists was abhorred ,CIO created a Trade Union monitoring Desk this desk was responsible for recruiting spies within the Trade Union movement , identifying those that criticised Gvt policies more and report any Trade Union activities to the desk.
Unfortunately the suppression turned out to be self stabbing to the black Gvt we became more determined in organizing and educating workers on their rights and also making them aware that their freedoms and rights are being trumpled upon.
Workers came up slogans that encouraged organizing such as:”Organize to survive.” An Injury to one is an Injury to all”Many eyes one Vision,Shinga Mushandi Shinga.”
Workers and Pensioners vividly remember 2007-8 period it was a period pension houses would remit pension lump sums to banks and they monies would not be accessed.There were serious shortages of all essentials ,with most super markets selling firewood and inflation galloping to thousand %.
Collective Bargaining at National and local level was being done every day because the transport for workers to go back to their homes was not static items on the informal market were very expensive and we’re only available in foreign currency.
Workers, pensioners and the citizenry had billions in their pockets but had nothing to buy.Bread was being sold at five billion dollars a loaf where one finds it available.
Pensions were in billions but one could not access the money because banks were not allowed to have withdrals of more than Zwl $10,000,000,000.
Medical and funeral insurances were rendered useless,for some of us who had Insurance policies maturing it was all useless for there was no value to talk about.
I had an insurance portfolio of Zim $10,000,000 before all the upheavals happened and it matured in 2008 the insurance company gave me Usd$10 and they congratulated me for getting that amount as it was the highest amount they had paid to an individual, laughable is that not so.
The 2007 -2008 scenario is now being repeated since the coming in of the coup regime wages for the workers and pensioners allowances were crookly converted into ZwlRtgs ,an example is of pensioner who was getting Usd$1000 when conversation was introduced his pension became ZwlRtgs $1000 which can only buy a bag of 10 kg meal mealie and 500 grams of salt, a person who was well established turned into a pauper by a careless and idiotic coup Gvt policies.
My advice therefore to all workers and pensioners is to go register ,vote and defend our vote.
Ngaapinde Hake Mukomana.
Veteran Trade Unionists,