MDC Alliance leader, Nelson Chamisa has called on President Emmerson Mnangagwa to discontinue the use of the local currency and start paying workers in US dollars to maintain value of their earnings.
In a Workers Day speech yesterday, Chamisa said workers were facing a double tragedy of coronavirus and poor salaries which were not sufficient to cover basics such as transport to and from work, rentals and purchase of food.
“Our doctors earn close to $5 000, an equivalent of US$100; this does not happen anywhere else in the world, our soldiers and police are earning less than US$20. The poverty levels they face every day are so heart wrenching,” said Chamisa.
He said the MDC A had written to government urging President Mnangagwa to pay workers in US dollars to arrest inflation and restore value to their earnings.
“We hope in the coming days, they will listen to the advice which given them and start paying workers in US$. We should shelve the local currency until such a time we have corrected the economic fundamentals in the country,” he said.’
Zimbabwe is facing its worst economic crisis in a decade characterised by hyperinflation and government reintroduced the Zim dollar in February last year and floated it but did not adjust salaries.
Chamisa said while Zimbabwe continued to use the local currency, he urged government to widen the income tax bands by over 300 percent to allow workers to take home more money. He also called for more tax exemptions.
Turning to demolitions that were carried out by councils around the country during the coronavirus induced lockdown, Chamisa said the MDC was opposed to it and was demanding that councillors sponsored by his party explain their stance.
“We do not agree with the demolitions of vending stalls that happened, they were illegal, we don’t believe in command and commando resolution of problems,” Chamisa said.
“If you believe the vending stalls are illegal, you go there and talk to the vendors and get consensus, if that does not come, then you go to the courts and get court orders.
“Our councillors have to account on why and how they ended up joining this bandwagon of destroying people’s livelihoods,” Chamisa said.