BY BLESSED MHLANGA
Opposition MDC party leader Nelson Chamisa yesterday said the country was drawing to a “tipping point” as shortages of key commodities persist, while the collapse of the local currency and rising inflation have seen the cost of living going up weekly.
Zimbabwe is facing its worst economic crisis in a decade underpinned by shortages of fuel, medicine and bread, among others, while rolling power cuts have seen industry and households go without power for up to 20 hours daily.
The southern African nation’s public health sector faces collapse in the wake of doctors and nurses’ strike, while some State workers on Monday said they were unable to go to work anymore due to high transport costs, leaving government services under threat.
Chamisa said the unravelling situation in the country was the fault of the ruling Zanu PF party.
Speaking at a Press conference in Harare yesterday, Chamisa’s spokesperson Nkululeko Sibanda said youths should take charge of the struggle to end the crisis being caused by Zanu PF.
“President Nelson Chamisa is concerned with the deteriorating situation in the country and recognises the urgent need for the people of Zimbabwe to engage this crisis immediately,” he said.
“All social and economic stakeholders must plan to end this crisis. Our young people have a lot at stake and must not allow this country to implode.”
An insider said the MDC was readying itself to ride on a wave of discontent which will come owing to the biting shortages and a likely collapse of industry and business as government fails to offer solutions.
“The party is aware that the fuel, electricity and cash shortages are getting worse. Disposable income has all but vanished and people are agitated. Things can’t continue like this. The party is getting itself ready to form the alternative and provide solutions. We all know the solutions are not with Zanu PF,” the source said.
Chamisa, who has been accused of lacking decisive leadership in coming up with a concrete action path against Zanu PF, said he was worried about the deteriorating socio-economic and political situation in the country.
His spokesperson did not elaborate what action the people of Zimbabwe should take to avoid an implosion.
Meanwhile, the MDC has denied reports that it was involved in any talks with Zanu PF either formally, ad-hoc or informally.
MDC secretary-general Chalton Hwende said the deepening crisis was a direct consequence of the unresolved 2018 presidential election.
“We, therefore, believe that it is fundamental that there be genuine dialogue aimed at resolving this legitimacy question and to attend to political and economic reforms,” he said.
“The MDC believes that the platform for this dialogue must be convened by a neutral arbitrator or institution and that the outcome of the dialogue and its execution be guaranteed by Sadc, AU or the UN.”
Yesterday, Zanu PF called for a special politburo meeting, where its leaders totally ignored the economic crisis and, instead, latched on restructuring to entrench the party’s stranglehold on power.
The ruling party’s secretary for administration Obert Mpofu said the extra-ordinary politburo meeting was only to receive a report on the restructuring of Harare province, which has been marred by controversy.
“This extra-ordinary meeting was to receive the reports of the outcome of Harare province only,” Mpofu said.
He said the politburo had accepted election of all district co-ordinating committee chairpersons from zone 1 to zone 6.
The politburo also resolved to fire any of its cadres involved in vote-buying in future internal elections after it emerged that money was used to influence voters in the Harare polls.