HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) --
are hoping for better fortunes in 2018 as the new political
leadership pledges to implement reforms that will lead to a
turnaround of the economy, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions
(ZCTU) said Monday.
ZCTU secretary-general Japhet Moyo told Xinhua in an
interview that the previous two years had been bad for workers
with companies applying to retrench up to 1,200 employees each
quarter, but pledges by the new government led by new President
Emmerson Mnangagwa had lifted workers’ spirits.
"We have not experienced any company closures yet and there
is hope that workers will keep their jobs while others who are
not at work will be hired, given promises by the new
administration that they will be doing some reforms to improve
Among the challenges workers faced during the past two years
were cash shortages, static wages and retrenchments, he said.
"There are now a lot of expectations and we hope those
expectations will not turn into desperation."
Moyo said government should quickly turn the promises it had
made into action if there were to be changes in the lives of
"We are expecting the new administration to walk the talk and
turn around our fortunes.
"There have been promises to change some laws impeding
economic transformation and people expect to see amendments to
various pieces of legislation such as the indigenization act and
the land reform act.
"We have been told that people will no longer be allowed to
invade farms but the law that empowers them to do so is still
there," he said.
He said some "positive small issues" had already taken place
like the reduction of police roadblocks on the major highways.
"Last year our people in the tourism sector were complaining
about the roadblocks but this year they hope that more tourists
will be able to come into the country so that the tourism
industry remains vibrant and workers keep their jobs."
He also appealed to the government to deal with rising prices
of basic commodities.
"Workers have not had wage increases for three years yet some
prices have doubled during the same period, particularly in late
2017," he said.
Zimbabwe reduces "overly
ambitious" target of voter registration
HARARE (Xinhua) --
Zimbabwe’s electoral body has revised the number
of voters it targets to register for this year’s elections from
the initial 7 million to 5.5 million.
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) acting chairperson
Emmanuel Magade told a press conference Tuesday that the initial
target of 7 million was "overly ambitious."
"We were overly, extravagantly ambitious. Zimbabwe has a
population of 15 million people and out of that 50-55 percent
are under the age of 18 and therefore ineligible.
"We also have a significant number of Zimbabweans in the
diaspora," Magade said.
He said the electoral body would be extremely pleased if it
manages to register over 5 million voters after 4.9 million
voters were registered during the two-month mobile bio-metric
voter registration that ended in December last year.
ZEC will run another month-long nationwide registration blitz
from Jan. 10 to Feb. 8 to cater for eligible voters who failed
to register during the two-month period.
After the end of the mobile registration exercise in
February, voter registration will continue at 63 static centers
across the country until a few weeks before the election.
"We will be over the moon if we manage to register over 5
million people and we are on our way to meet that target.
"We are within shouting distance of the target," Magade said.
Zimbabwe’s voting population has been around 3.5 million in
the previous 2008 and 2013 elections.
ZEC is using the bio-metric voter registration system for the
first time and every eligible Zimbabwean must register afresh to
participate in the polls set for mid year.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa who replaced former president
Robert Mugabe last November will be the ruling ZANU-PF’s
presidential candidate in the polls.
Zimbabwe road accidents claim 136 during festive season:
HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) --
At least 136 people died in about
1,400 road traffic accidents during the festive season covering
Dec. 15, 2017 to Jan. 1, 2018, state media reported Thursday.
Police spokesperson Charity Charamba told The Herald that
another 755 people were injured during the same period,
attributing most of the accidents to disregard of road
regulations, speeding and faulty vehicles.
"A total of 1,398 accidents were recorded this year compared
to 1,396 last year.
136 people died this year compared to 89 last year and 755
people were injured compared to 565 last year," she said.
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