Opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa has promised to give dignity to all civil servants if he is voted into power in the 2023 elections.
Chamisa’s sentiments come at a time when more than 90% of teachers are set to be forced to resign by the government for striking over poor salaries.
Teachers, police officers, nurses among other civil servants are complaining against Zimbabwean dollar wages.
The Public Service Commission (PSC) has already been taken to court by human rights lawyers after it announced that it would resign all teachers on strike.
Addressing his supporters at the launch of the CCC by-election campaign in Highfields at Zimbabwe Grounds on Sunday, Chamisa promised to bring back the US$ salaries to civil servants if his party is elected into power in 2023.
“I’m troubled by the situation affecting our teachers. They aren’t asking for much, but reverting to their USD $540 salaries they enjoyed when Tendai Biti was Minister of Finance. Government is responding with violence and dismissals, accusing them of being sent by Chamisa,” he said.
“Chamisa is not the poverty affecting our civil servants. Teachers have a right to demand a better salary and shouldn’t succumb to threats. Under our government, we will revert back to the salaries and benefits previously enjoyed by our civil servants.”
“Our government will honour teachers. They are the foundation and guardians of the destiny of any nation. They are the campus of civilisation. Without teachers there are no politicians, cooks nor builders. They must be respected and given back their dignity.”
“We need to give dignity to our security officers. Our war veterans helped liberate us. In my days in Parliament, I always stood for war veterans and we represented them for free, under our law firm. Many died without enjoying the independence they fought for.”
The main opposition leader also warned he will shutdown the country if the ruling Zanu-PF party rigs elections.
“We are declaring that CCC is the next government of Zimbabwe. CCC also means ‘Chimurenga CheZimbabwe Chechina’. I unreservedly agree with the Land Reform, minus the violence. The 4th Chimurenga is about citizens reclaiming power from politicians.”
“We gather here to also declare that never again shall elections be rigged in Zimbabwe. There won’t be a repeat of 2018. I will lead from the front. If they rig and we declare a shut down, it will manifest. ED (President Emmerson Mnangagwa) stole the 2018 elections but has failed to deliver.”
“We are here to also declare that in a new Zimbabwe, there won’t be any state sponsored violence. We will digitalize our security systems,” he said.
Mnangagwa viewed Chamisa’s statements as a promise to unleash violence if he loses elections.
Addressing thousands of youths gathered at Robert Gabriel Square to commemorate the National Youth Day on Monday, the Zanu PF leader promised to deal with his opponent.
“I asked myself what even does his mother say about him. Chamisa said if I do not win next year’s elections I will cause violence. Since you have said you will unleash violence we are ready to deal with that),” Mnangagwa said.
By-elections are set to be held on the 26th of March. CCC has already indicated that this will be a litmus test to see if the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has the capacity to hold free and fair elections.
The country will hold general harmonised elections in 2023. Nehanda Radio