ARTUZ on Corona Inspired Lockdown

Zimbabwe’s state finally moved towards the right direction in a bid to fight the Covid-19 by announcing a 21 day lock down. More can be done but this is a step in the right direction.

It can still be argued that our State is broke and can’t be expected to do much. Fortunately enough for us we are working under the evil neoliberal system which boasts of one policy of wishing money and making it real. The government has wished Treasury bills in the past and they have become a reality. This might be a time for them to wish for money and get it to serve our people.

We do hereby recommend the following for the people of Zimbabwe in general, working class in particular, business and the government.

1. The people of Zimbabwe should take heed of the lock down and prescriptions from medical experts. The pandemic is real and deadly. Lets ignore the stupid myths that melanine and high temperatures will spare us from this killer.

We are all witness to how countries with better healthcare than ourselves are losing lives in droves. Lets not experiment with our lives as we are aware of the grave danger posed by the Corona virus.

Please stay home and save lives.

2. To our government this is your unique opportunity to show love for your people. We are aware that you have power to outsource funds to bailout your people. There is no better time than now to print treasury bills.

As government you are aware that over 90% of your people are unemployed and will starve if they take heed of the lock down. It is imperative for them to take heed because the consequences of doing otherwise are unbearable. The government should therefore distribute basic domestic supplies to all vulnerable households to cushion them from the known poverty ravaging our society.

Government should step up securing protective wear for healthcare workers, give them an incentive, secure drugs and ventilators for our hospitals.

Private sector should not be allowed to profiteer from the ongoing crisis. Profiteering from a crisis should never be tolerated and should be punishable.

We applaud the government for paying full salaries for all employees. The salaries are not enough given the re-dollarisation of the economy but thats a debate for another season.

3. Business community

The nation is still in shock to learn that the Kudakwashe Tagwirei fronted Sakunda Holdings is splashing capital in the privatisation of the containment of the Corona Virus. This is the same company which is still to come clean on funds meant for command agriculture.

We encourage busines to genuinely support government efforts to contain the pandemic. One way is to channel resources directly to healthcare in a genuine charitable way. Seasons for profit will also come.

Secondly business should pay full salaries for all employees. We applaud some companies who are going an extra mile to give food hampers to their employees.

It will be very cruel if any employer were to retrench workers during this crisis phase.

4. Working class

The working class should take time to reflect during this lock down. The Covid-19 crisis should raise our consciousness with regard to the ills of neoliberalism.

The health crisis we face as a nation is not natural but man made. If we had our priorities right we could have the capacity to contain the pandemic.

Post this season we must unite and focus on crushing the system which reproduces poverty, capitalism.

Source: Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ)

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