Loughty Dube/Ray Matikinye
THE Morgan Tsvangirai faction of the Movement for Democratic Change will not join the mass action planned by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) because the workers’ programme is different from the opposition party’s a
spirations, it has been learnt.
Both the MDC and the ZCTU have warned of nationwide demonstrations against President Robert Mugabe’s government.
The ZCTU says it will stage protests to demand better wages for workers while the MDC wants an end to the national crisis.
MDC spokesperson, Nelson Chamisa, however said the programme the workers were embarking on was different to that of the MDC.
Chamisa told the Zimbabwe Independent that the planned demonstrations by the workers were in response to problems afflicting workers in Zimbabwe while the MDC was responding to a national crisis.
When questioned on why the two groups could not join hands and stage a combined demonstration, Chamisa said the workers had a right to express themselves without being influenced by politicians.
“We respect the response taken by the workers but the planned stayaway by the workers is not the same programme that the MDC would embark on. The workers should express themselves without interference from politicians even though the reasons for the demonstrations are similar,” Chamisa said.
He said while the MDC sympathised with the ZCTU, the party has its own programme of action.
“We do support and understand the ZCTU’s position, the ZCTU represents the majority of people, as we have many workers in the country. But we have a broader programme that we are pursuing and we cannot at this time stage combined demonstrations with the ZCTU,” Chamisa said.
Last week Tsvangirai, accompanied by about a hundred party supporters, led a march to parliament.
ZCTU president Lovemore Matombo said the ZCTU demonstrations were a labour issue and that it was important to differentiate who was doing what on the ground.
“The planned demonstration is purely a labour issue, the MDC is seeking power while the ZCTU is looking after the survival and welfare of the worker,” Matombo said.
“The workers will be protesting solely on labour issues but the issues are not different from issues being raised by the MDC and other civic groups.