The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has criticised the government’s refusal to pay workers’ salaries in United States dollars instead of the country’s own faltering currency as it also decries what it calls “neo-liberal” policies which are worsening the Zimbabwean economy.
The union president Florence Taruvinga condemned the Emmerson Mnangagwa led government at the Workers Day celebration held in Harare, demanding that the government treated the unions’ calls with utmost urgency. According to her, the cost of living in Zimbabwe had risen to an average of 92,192 Zimbabwean dollars while most workers earn below 20,000, leading to a continuous exodus of professionals in the country.
“As I stand before you the price of bread has shot to above US$2. That is unaffordable and unacceptable. Without the ‘daily bread’ what are we expected to eat? Cake? Biscuits? How can we be a workforce that does not afford bread,” she said.
Similarly, Citizens Coalition for Change, vice president Tendai Biti estimated the loss incurred by the workers as a result of the government’s policies to a total of 10 million US dollars.
The government had cracked down on the use of American dollars as legal tender in Zimbabwe and has refused to use it in paying wages. The southern African country reintroduced its currency in 2019 after a decade of dollarisation, but it has declined sharply under pressure from forex scarcity and low confidence in the economy.
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