Misihairabwi-Mushonga Says GVT Was Caught Napping And Must Apologise For Job Losses

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe’s government must apologise to the nation for its failure to protect the rights of workers and run the economy, Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga has said.

Contributing to the debate on the Labour Amendment Bill 2015, Misihairabwi-Mushonga said laders have been caught napping and must “say sorry to Zimbabweans”.

“The issue is the economy. We can walk out there and can be seen as the people who are standing for the workers, but if we do not deal with the fundamental issues, we have a problem.

“I would have thought that in her remarks (the Minister of Labour, Prisca Mupfumira) would have started by apologising, to say I am sorry.  We are sorry that it took us 35 years to get where we are today.

“We are sorry that as a government, we are the ones that are inflicting a lot of pain on the workers,” the legislator said.

The outspoken Misihairabwi-Mushonga, from the Welshman Ncube-led MDC, said government must apologise for not doing enough under the Tripartite Negotiating Forum (TNF).

“We would have been far better off than what we are today had we made efforts to make the TNF a truly consultative process. That we spend a whole day debating why and where things went wrong and changing provisions and things like that, is as a sign that we were caught napping.

“We were caught napping on the job and we need to start taking responsibility,” said the MP.

“The one mark of leadership is to take responsibility. In asking government to take responsibility, I too am taking responsibility. I am taking responsibility that I sat as a cabinet Minister from 2009 to 2013 and at that particular point in time, we may have said it but we did not address it.

“So, all of us should take responsibility, but the first point is to say I am sorry Mr. Speaker but I did not hear it being said,” she said.

Misihairabwi-Mushonga served as regional integration minister under the coalition government formed by the ruling Zanu PF party and the MDC formations following the 2008 run-off.

She warned of an impending economic implosion.

“So, even if we address this and I can assure you Hon. Speaker; if the Lord gives us the grace to be alive, we are going to sit here and we are going to see a real reeling of the economy.

“We are going to see a complete stopping of this economy.  Yes it is bad, but we have not seen the worst because we refuse to deal with the real issues,” she said.

The ex-minister said government in amending the labour law needed to seriously look into the issue of access to social justice.

“Minister; perhaps you could indicate in your response, issues to do with accessibility and affordability to justice because I am concerned that we are still going to have court challenges.

“I am concerned that if we have not dealt with the issue when it goes to the labour court, employees will not afford lawyers. So, we will still have employers with top notch lawyers who will be able to argue their cases,” said Misihairabwi-Mushonga. source-newzimbabwe


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