AFTER failing to mobilise Zimbabweans for a crippling stay-away this week pressure group Tajamuka has joined a growing list of organisations that are pushing for opposition leader Nelson Chamisa to lead the anti-government protests.
With the country’s economy characterised by ever rising prices and deteriorating standards of living for the majority, Tajamuka had hoped to provide the spark to cause crippling demonstrations last week but that was not to be as the planned action received no takers.
Tajamuka spokesperson Promise Mkwananzi said although they are not deterred, they are concerned the Chamisa-led MDC is failing to provide the much-needed leadership to trigger protests.
“The MDC is and remains the biggest and most formidable political formation in Zimbabwe, arguably even more formidable than Zanu-PF itself (barring party-state conflation).
“It therefore does not make any strategic sense for the MDC to seem to be threatened or in competition with formations that are way smaller than it and that are meant to cushion and complement the MDC in situations and circumstances where the MDC cannot be seen to be on the lead,” said Mkwananzi.
However, Chamisa has said he is only willing to “lead people who want to be led”. In a terse social media post, the MDC leader who last month promised to lead crippling demonstrations that would force President Emmerson Mnangagwa to the negotiating table, said in an as much as he wants to take action they must be a willingness by everyone to take part.
“Everyone sane and normal is opposition to the situation in our country. We must act together and not start pointing fingers at others. Yes, we must lead. But to lead we need the led and the willing. Let’s do it for ourselves and future generations,” said Chamisa
Apart from Chamisa taking a backseat, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has also apparently shelved its plans to roll-out demonstrations even after Cabinet on Tuesday ignored its ultimatum to rescind SI 142 of 2019.
In an interview with the Daily News ZCTU secretary-general Japhet Moyo said for the moment their hands are tied because of the Tripartite Negotiating Forum (TNF), an organisation that brings together labour, business and government to which the militant union is also a member.
The TNF is chaired by minister of Labour Sekai Nzenza and collectively petitioned Cabinet airing the concerns of the workers.
“We have to reflect on that position. The decision to petition Cabinet was a TNF decision, the TNF decided that Cabinet should rescind SI 142, so the workers will have to go back to the drawing board and after that members will be able to make their decision.
The decision to petition Cabinet might have been initiated by labour but it became a TNF matter, we are going to get a report from the chairperson and then make a report back to the structures, they was a window for discussion and the workers used it and now it is better for us to get a report from the TNF that will then inform our position, we have to wait for that conversation first,” said Moyo.
The decision by ZCTU to give dialogue a chance has also riled Tajamuka which is seeking for collaborations to ensure success of future protests. “ZCTU (is) a formidable worker’s union that ought to be working with Tajamuka and other outfits that are better placed to embrace the informal sector to augment the ZCTU owing to the depletion of the labour base we knew in the past that passed on due to unemployment and Zanu-PF`s economic mismanagement. The moment for collective, selfless and decisive action is now.
“The people of Zimbabwe expect no less from us,” said Mkwananzi.