Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition has urged Zimbabweans to brace for tougher times in 2017 saying the year will be indifferent from 2016 which was characterized by massive clampdown on peaceful protests and vendors seeking to earn a living from selling in the streets.
In a statement released to the media on Thursday, CiZC noted that most Zimbabweans suffered a lot in 2016 and were hoping for a change in 2017 but as the situation stands right now, they are guaranteed of even more harder times.
“THE year 2016 proved to be a tough one for the majority of Zimbabweans who were definitely hoping for the best but certainly got the worst. A spiraling unemployment rate as a result of company closures and lack of Foreign Direct Investments relegated many Zimbabweans into abject poverty.
“The few remaining companies could not afford to pay their workers on time due to a liquidity crunch as well as low production levels. Policy inconsistency and failure to put in place investor friendly policies meant that the Zimbabwean economy, suffering from the much needed Foreign Direct Investments continued on a free fall,” reads part of the statement.
CIZC went on to blame the ruling party on worsening the economic challenges by ‘looting state resources.
“The looting of national resources for personal gain by the political elite worsened the situation. On the other hand, ruling party politicians failed to get their priorities right with millions of dollars being splashed on party programmes such as the much hyped Million Man March to show solidarity for President Robert Mugabe, the First Lady, Grace Mugabe’s Meet The People rallies as well as President Robert Mugabe’s birthday bash.
“Surprisingly, this was happening at a time when about 1, 4 million Zimbabweans were in urgent need of food aid. Politics took precedence over the pressing need to improve the welfare of suffering Zimbabweans and we cannot expect the situation to change in 2017,” reads the statement.
CIZC also noted that as unemployment continued to soar, coupled with the liquidity crunch and government’s continued clampdown on informal traders such as vendors who had found a respite in a failed economy, disgruntled Zimbabweans resorted to protests challenging the Zimbabwean government to deliver and improve people’s livelihoods.
However, the government reacted with brutality against impoverished masses merely exercising their constitutional right to protest against the government’s failure to revive the economy and create the 2, 2 million jobs promised by the ruling party in its 2013 election manifesto.
The result of government’s brutality was a series of arrests, torture and abduction of civic society and opposition activists as well as ordinary Zimbabweans.