HARARE: Around 200 hundred people from Zimbabwe’s main trade union on Saturday marched to government offices in Harare to demand that President Robert Mugabe fix the ailing economy and fulfil an election promise to create over two million jobs.
Workers belonging to the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) also protested against proposed salary and job cuts for civil servants.
Addressing the workers, ZCTU leader George Nkiwane said Mugabe’s ZANU-PF government must fulfil its election promise to create over two million jobs because “we haven’t seen any single job that has been created”.
“We want a government that responds to the people’s needs, nothing else,” Nkiwane said in the capital Harare.
The workers want the government to do away with a proposed pay cut and also job losses.
“Wages in Zimbabwe are averaging $246 a month for most workers while the poverty datum line is above $500 and there is no sanity in proposing to cut such earnings,” Nkiwane said.
The union held similar demonstrations in five cities across the country.
Despite a bloated public wage bill that eats up 70 percent of public revenue, government is still battling to pay many of its workers and often delays paying salaries.
Mugabe, 91, was re-elected in July 2013, promising to revive the moribund economy, hit by more than a decade of political instability.
The country’s finance ministry in November projected economic growth of 3.2 percent in 2015, up from 3.1 percent last year.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said Zimbabwe faces a “difficult” economic outlook this year as it battles to clear arrears with international lenders.