By Brenna Matendere
The Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (Artuz) has petitioned President Emmerson Mnangagwa to fire Finance minister Mthuli Ncube within seven days or face crippling protests by members of the association.
In a letter dated March 16 delivered at Mnangagwa’s Munhumutapa offices in Harare on Monday, Artuz president Obert Masaraure said Ncube had failed to rescue the country from the deepening economic crisis, hence the need to relieve him of his duties.
Part of the letter read: “While there are many causes to the economic meltdown facing the country, which among others is rampant corruption, Ncube’s ministry is of critical national importance and as such requires a competent person who can steer it to turn around our economic fortunes.
“In this regard, Ncube has failed in his totality and the only immediate remedy is for you to remove him within seven days, failure to which we will publicly call for his removal through democratic means guaranteed in the Bill of Rights of the Constitution.
“We hope you will act expeditiously on our request and remove Ncube from office for gross failure to deliver on his mandate. His continued occupation of that office constitutes a national security risk as he continues to heap pain on long-suffering citizens.”
Presidential spokesperson George Charamba was unavailable for comment when repeatedly sought.
Masaraure said Ncube had been an impediment to several proposals tabled before him for the betterment of the lives of Zimbabweans, mostly the working class.
“The working class has become victim of Ncube’s failed economic policies,” he said.
The transitional stabilisation programme, which birthed the obtaining economic ills was his initiative.
Organised labour rejected the International Monetary Fund-supported programme and labelled it Economic Structural Adjustment Programme 2 or Esap, the disastrous 1990s programme.
“Our salaries were slashed from over US$500 to the now US$55… Ncube might not be the only evil confronting us, but the position he occupies is so critical for any turnaround strategy of our economy.”
Masaraure called upon the other unions to join Artuz in protests between March 23 and 27 to push for Ncube’s dismissal if Mnangagwa snubs their demand.
Zimbabwe is facing serious economic challenges that have seen workers’ salaries eroded by hyperinflation. NewsDay