By Jane Mlambo| Plawn Motors, a prominent automotive company headquartered in Harare, is facing scrutiny for an alleged promotion of tribalism in the country through a controversial job advertisement.
The company’s recent announcement seeking a bike messenger proficient in both Shona and English has ignited a firestorm, as it appears to favor Shona-speaking candidates over the predominantly Ndebele-speaking population in Bulawayo.
Renowned journalist Ezra Tshisa Sibanda has strongly criticized Plawn Motors, questioning the motivations behind their language requirements for the messenger position.
Sibanda raised concerns, stating, “Plawn Motors wants a messenger in Bulawayo who can speak English and Shona fluently. Is this an oversight, or does the company have an agenda? Who will be served in Bulawayo, only the Shona-speaking population?”
Sibanda’s remarks resonate with many who view the job advertisement as a blatant effort to segregate and marginalize Ndebele-speaking individuals and other ethnic groups in the city.
Critics have used the term “Cooperate Gukurahundi” to draw parallels between Plawn Motors’ alleged discriminatory practices and historical ethnic conflicts in the region.
Plawn Motors’ listed qualifications for the messenger position, including O levels, proficiency in Shona and English, and three years of messenger experience, seem standard.
However, the controversial addition of “Applicants Restricted to Bulawayo Residents” has fueled accusations of tribalistic hiring practices.
Expressing his disapproval, Ezra Tshisa Sibanda took to social media with hashtags like #PlawnMotorsMustGo, #NoToTribalism, and #NoToDiscrimination.
His post has gained momentum, with many locals echoing his sentiments and demanding accountability from Plawn Motors.
In response to the growing controversy, local activists and community leaders are mobilizing efforts to address what they perceive as an attempt to divide the people of Bulawayo along tribal lines.
The situation is garnering attention not just as a critique of Plawn Motors but also as a broader concern about the potential exacerbation of tribal tensions within the community.