Zimbabwe which is a sometime great Southern African economic power house has suffered serious problems of unemployment and underemployment evidenced by increasingly alarming rate of unemployment .For as long as graduates continue to be produced by our schools, Universities and Colleges without there being any meaningful investment, the rate will continue to rise. Unemployment is the basis of the violent politics in the Southern African country. The greatest challenge that is facing the economy is youth unemployment coupled with a rigid education system churning out thousands of youths into the labour market where most of these cannot get formal employment. Our education system needs to be revised as a matter of urgency and include entrepreneurship, technical oriented and skills development oriented curricular.
Some of them found their salvation in the informal sector well known as the black market. However because of the perennial difficult times, the sector is in a survivalist mode due to lack of enabling laws and serious government facilitation for smooth and fruitful operation. The government continues to lose unimaginable tax revenue in the informal sector due to failure to put proper regulatory measures in the sector. Currently it is estimated that the sector employs over 3 million people; some of them have been retrenched from the formal sector. According to Mid-Term Plan 2011-2015, 80 % of the labour force is in the informal sector. The mismatch between supply and demand of skills has haunted employment creation due to level of productivity which is near nil.
There is no liquidity in the economy, or enough capital to undertake income generating projects for the youths. One does not need to be a rocket scientist to know that the youths are in a quagmire that ONLY the Movement for Democratic Change can take them out among others through its policy of job creation anchored on foreign direct investment (FDI). Scourge of HIV /AIDS has also been on the prowl in the vandalized economy of ours and the youths are at the receiving end of its widespread effects – but joblessness increases the risk factor especially for young women.
As MDC Youth Assembly we know that the geriatrics of the former ruling party cannot even do any precious little because after destroying our economy, they were saved by GNU co-habitation whose lifespan is past almost. Indeed it saved them because the entry of our party, MDC registered stability and stopped further crises in the economy, dispelling satanic levels of inflation. They gasped for breath before September 2008, got a lifeline for kleptomania in respect of diamonds which they are looting, premised on their sure belief of the end-times aftermath. It is therefore imperative to appreciate that the economy that was in place before Friday of 1999 is difficult to restore, after the DRC war that claimed lives of sons and daughters of Zimbabwe, and unbudgeted War Veterans’ gratuities of Z $50000 which turned out to be unproductive patronage. This led to the freefall of the economy and devaluation of the Zim$ to astonishing levels, never to recover again.
Some of us were born to an economy that:
- had many job opportunities and people could change jobs easily
- Very few people were losing their jobs. There was little of retrenchment (chigumura)
- Wages were generally satisfactory and workers could afford other luxurious spending
- The level of poverty was low
- General commodities were affordable to the majority
- There was little underemployment
- Education and skills development were subsidised
Today, there are no job opportunities. There is a tenacious liquidity crunch, companies and banks are shutting down, and total industrial capacity is below 20%. The formal sector is shrinking simultaneously with a fast increasing growth of the informal sector where millions of dollars in trade tax are not accounted for.
More than 90 % of workers in the formal sector are earning below poverty datum line of $500, and level of poverty in the country, and cost of living is concomitantly high. Workers and youths resort to crime and corrupt activities to survive. The same jobless youths, as a result of recklessness of Zanu PF through evil processes of fast track land reform, Murambatsvina, the so called indigenization and other investor-repellent policies, are used to perpetrate violence against reformers. The reality is that, the economy is down and dysfunctional.
As a Party that believes in social democratic principles, the MDC subscribes to the promotion of a strong human rights abiding community seeking to protect Zimbabwe's socially marginalised citizens, and the youths. Under the leadership of President Morgan Tsvangirai, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) continues to fight for a broad based upliftment of the people by ensuring that everyone has decent shelter, food, education, health care facilities, and JOBS. The party’s economic policy is to institute industrial regulations to protect workers, employment security to stop retrenchments, and attraction of the much needed investors to the country so that the economy can grow, and more jobs created. The MDC will put macroeconomic fundamentals in order and uphold rule of law and protect property rights so as to attract more investment.
The MDC policy on job creation is very clear on creating an enabling and conducive environment for sustainable job creation. The party strongly believes in public private partnerships (PPPs) and promotion of import substitution to increase local productivity. This will be done with emphasis on labour intensive methods of production to boost employment.
Our country is 25 years behind technology hence the need for a balanced approach that ensures speedy recovery and job creation at the same time. Technology should be promoted with a consideration on job creation in the industries. The VISION of the party is as clear as it is achievable: To create a stable economy that guarantees growth, food security, investment, and job creation.
It is now our responsibility as the youths of Zimbabwe to give the party through the ballot, sole mandate to govern the nation. As MDCYA we welcome our party’s national economic blueprint- JUICE and this gives us every reason to believe in the future of Zimbabwe!!!
MDC is Our Hope
Together to end,building a youth with a difference.