Former CCC Leader Highlights Economic Challenges and Promises Reform

May 1, 2024
Nelson Chamisa | Report Focus News
Nelson Chamisa

Nelson Chamisa, the former leader of the Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC), marked Workers’ Day on May 1, 2024, with a compelling address highlighting the struggles and dignity of Zimbabwe’s workers. Chamisa, who resigned from his party leadership role in January, expressed a deep respect for the workforce, whom he described as the backbone of the nation’s dignity.

Despite his silence on his political future, Chamisa conveyed a message of imminent change to the workers, shedding light on the harsh economic conditions faced by the majority. He noted that over 80% of the working population is unemployed, with significant percentages of youth and adults living below the poverty line. The stark economic disparity is evident as the average wages remain far below the basic needs threshold.

Chamisa criticized the punitive tax system, which imposes thresholds starting at US$100, leaving little for workers to support their families. He pointed out the vast gap between the cost of basic goods, which are six times higher than the minimum wage, and the average wage of US$275, which falls short of the poverty datum line of US$575.

Looking to the future, Chamisa promised transformative policies to ensure fair and dignified employment opportunities for all. He pledged to prioritize the Tripartite Negotiating Forum (TNF) as the main policy-making body, emphasizing its role in fostering dialogue among government, business, and labor sectors. His government, if elected, would focus on:

Enforcing the right to collective bargaining for public sector workers by adopting ILO Convention 151.
Re-establishing a living minimum wage through effective social dialogue.
Allowing workers the freedom to protest and demand their rights.
Chamisa painted a picture of an inclusive Zimbabwe where economic progress results from the collective prosperity and efforts of all its citizens. He stressed the importance of resolving the political disputes from the August 2023 elections, criticizing the current ZANU PF-led government as unelected and ineffective.

Ending his address, Chamisa called for a collective effort to address the “broken politics, disputed elections, and contested presidential office,” emphasizing the need for a legitimate government that truly serves the interests of its workers and acknowledges their fundamental rights.