By Luke Tamborinyoka
Today is Workers Day and the MDC Alliance takes this occasion to salute ordinary Zimbabweans for their unstinting effort in bringing food and dignity to their homes under very difficult circumstances.
Indeed, this year’s May Day commemorations are taking place under a global lockdown which has meant dislocated livelihoods and massive starvation in the homes, particularly for the majority of Zimbabweans who live by hustling and sweating it out in this highly informalised economy.
The government has cared little about the millions of starving families that are locked down inside their homes. The government has given no support whatsoever in terms of food rations and other basics during this lockdown as other countries are doing.
Some citizens have been bashed and brutalised for breaking down the lockdown rules by daring to go out of their homes in a legitimate quest to fend for their hungry kids.
As a party borne out of the sweat, blood and tears of labour, we take this day to reflect on our genesis as a working people’s movement and the unwavering support we continue to get from all the working people of this country.
We salute both the few still in formal employment and the millions eking out a living on the streets and the country’s pavements which have become zones of high transactional activity in this informal economy.
To Zimbabweans in the informal sector whose vending stalls have been demolished by this uncaring regime, we salute you. We know you are being punished for choosing a life of honesty under these trying times.
To the country’s civil servants and our uniformed forces sweating it out without adequate remuneration, we salute you. To the country’s dedicated health personnel working on the frontline in this pandemic to save lives without the requisite protective clothing, we doff our cap to you.
To all those Zimbabweans in the villages, on the mines and on the farms, we salute you. To the artisanal miners burrowing the dangerous earth for a living, this is your day as well.
All Zimbabweans across the length and breadth of the country; the ordinary women working hard in the rural areas to bring food on the table, this is your day. All those children looking after their siblings in our child – headed families, we salute your dedication.
Today, we pay tribute to all Zimbabweans slugging it out in foreign lands. Your hard work has brought a modicum of dignity to the families back home while your remittances have given some breath to our otherwise comatose economy. Your contribution deserves mention and indeed, we salute you today.
This is a special day to you Zimbabwe. As a party, we appreciate the sweat and toil that you expend every day to feed families and to send children to school. We know it takes courage, resilience and unmatched fortitude to simply wake up alive in this punishing economy.
Let us just remind each other that there is just one momentous task still to be done by all of us this year. Together, we have agreed that 2020 is the year of action. Together, we must and we will deliver on that collective pledge.
Indeed, we take the occasion of this year’s Workers’ Day to remind each other of this outstanding work that we still have to do in our overwhelming numbers this year.
That one task is to express our displeasure at the deteriorating situation in the country and to call for a people’s government, for reforms and for a return to legitimacy. The crisis of legitimacy is at the core of our collective predicament and together, we have pledged to express ourselves in a big way around that major national grievance.
We urge every Zimbabwean to stay safe and to take the requisite precautionary measures in order to stay alive in the wake of this global pandemic.
Together, we will overcome.
Luke Tamborinyoka, Deputy National Spokesperson