Price Increases Are Hurting The People: Public Service Minister

Price Increases are hurting the People: Public Service Minister
Image Credit: New Zimbabwe

Public Service and Social Welfare Minister Dr. Sekai Nzenza, in a Workers Day statement in Harare yesterday acknowledged that the price hikes that are currently taking place as Zimbabwe’s RTGS$ currency continue losing value is hurting the people.

Prices of goods and services have been going up since the introduction of the RTGS$ currency which is devaluing against the US Dollar.

“As we embark on our transitional journey, we call upon business to exercise restraint on raising prices, Nzenza said.

“No one wins as the workers revert back to business to ask for more and we get locked in a vicious cycle of price increases and salary hikes.”

The Minister responsible for labor issues in Zimbabwe said the Government will strengthen policy and resource support for price stabilization in the country.

“In that regard I wish to state that the mantra for “Zimbabwe is open for business” is underpinned by an unshakable resolve to ensure that decent work is attained in all the jobs that we envisage to create in our investment drive efforts,” Nzenza said

“We remain committed to fulfil both in practise and in legislation the principles of the ILO Conventions which Zimbabwe has ratified.”

Civic organizations mourned the state of the laborers on yesterday’s Workers Day with the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA) calling the circumstance disheartening.

“ZELA particularly bemoans the state of workers in the mining and agriculture sector which are our programming areas,” the organisation says in a statement.

“The workers in the mining industry are currently the lowest paid despite the fact that this is an industry that is labour intensive, is highly risky and hazardous to health.”

“It is a fact that most of these workers are being paid paltry salaries which have remained stagnant despite the price of most basic commodities having gone up more than 200% since January 2019,” the statement went on.

The Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD) statement on the Workers Day says it is worrying that this year Workers’ Day is being commemorated in the midst of a deep socio-economic crisis in Zimbabwe, worsened by neo-liberal policies being implemented under the “Austerity for Prosperity” mantra.

“This has caused untold suffering to the workers in Zimbabwe due to continually rising cost of living further eroding wages and salaries,” the statement reads.

“Already, first days of implementation of the Austerity for Prosperity has seen massive macroeconomic
recession manifesting through many tax heads being introduced targeting the citizens and the worker, skyrocketing prices of basic commodities, macroeconomic distortions and foreign exchange shortages. “

“Historical evidence, locally, regionally and internationally proves that austerity measures are not a solution to the material conditions of the working class instead they entrenches poverty, income and other forms of inequality.”

Zimbabwe, yesterday celebrated the Workers” Day under the theme “Promoting Trust and Dialogue for Inclusive Growth.”

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, on his Workers Day statement, said the wanton, unjustified increases in prices are unpalatable and may point to some other sinister motives.

“This conduct must stop forthwith,” the President said. ” “My Government will not stand by and leave workers and the generality of our people at the mercy of a small group with rent seeking and profiteering tendencies.”

“I urge you the workers of Zimbabwe to remain resilient, hopeful and focused as we accelerate our determination and resolve to build the Zimbabwe we all want.”

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