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  • ZCTU says GNU same as one-party state
    The Zimbabwe Times
    February 08, 2009

    The President of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions has said the formation of a unity government in Zimbabwe will take the country back to the era of the one-party state.

    ZCTU president, Lovemore Matombo, said on Friday that there was no way the two Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) parties and Zanu-PF could be in opposition and be in government at the same time because they would have to find common ground somewhere along the way.

    He cited the unanimous passing of the Amendment Number 19 Bill in Parliament last Thursday, saying it was only the start of the drift back towards the one party state when Zanu-PF and Zapu merged into one back in 1989. This resulted in Zanu-PF ruling the country since 1980 with an overwhelming parliamentary majority until in March last year when the mainstream MDC party turned the tables.

    "The unity agreement is merely an act of consolidation of power taking us back to the era of the one party state," said Matombo in an address to an all stakeholders' national civil society constitutional conference held in Harare on Friday.

    Matombo told the meeting that his organisation was against the idea of a unity government and would have preferred a transitional authority leading to the calling of free and fair elections.

    He said they had an all day meeting with the mainstream MDC whose leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, is a former secretary general of ZCTU, after which they decided to agree to disagree on whether his party should join the unity government.

    "We disagree with this unity government but unfortunately some in the MDC are looking for employment. This is despite the fact that this unity government does not care about the March 29 election results. It actually recognises the loser, turning him into the winner while turning the winner into the loser," said Matombo in his address to the highly charged meeting.

    He accused the MDC of abandoning the principles which guided the formation of the party at a National People's Convention at the Women's Bureau in Harare in 1999. He said by agreeing to the dollarization of the economy the MDC had abandoned the struggle for the workers.

    "Zimbabwe has made its own piece of history where doctors or university lecturers are just like Grade Seven graduates because of the inflation and the decision to dollarize everything will only serve to hit the poor hard and make the rich richer. So we want to tell this unity government that we are going to call for a national strike next month so that we can be paid in foreign currency," said Matombo.

    He urged the civil society groups to take up the initiative of crafting the country's constitution saying relegating the duty to politicians will not result in the drawing of a perfect constitution representative of all Zimbabweans.

    He said, "The constitution process is very algebraic in nature, if you don't get the formula right then you won't get the answer right. Zimbabwe is under authoritarian rule and the only sure way of providing a remedy is through the enactment of a new people driven constitution."

    He said his organisation will continue to put pressure on the new government particularly the MDC until the concerns of the workers are addressed.

    "We still remain fighting and we will continue putting pressure particularly on the MDC which we have been working with. We want to see restoration of people power not the opening up of the economy like what is happening now. These are the same things that led us to the Economic Structural Adjustment Programme (ESAP) which was the genesis of the problems that we are facing right now," said Matombo.

    The civic society meeting was attended by over 200 delegates drawn from several interest groups representing the disabled, traders, lawyers, journalists, church groups, human rights groups and women's groups among others.

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