Zimbabwean opposition parties have reportedly rubbished claims by Deputy President Emmerson Mnangagwa that the government had created more than 2.2 million jobs.
According to the state-owned Chronicle newspaper, Mnangagwa said that the government had exceeded President Robert Mugabe’s 2013 election promise of creating 2 million jobs.
On the sidelines of a tour of African Chrome fields in Kwekwe, Mnangagwa claimed that the country’s agricultural and mining sectors were creating more jobs, despite the country’s economic woes.
Mnangagwa was quoted as saying that more jobs were set to be created through the recently launched Command Aquaculture and Command Livestock programmes.
“We have exceeded 2.2 million jobs. Look at the volume of people who are engaged in Command Agriculture. We recently launched Command Agriculture and there are a lot of people who are going to be employed in that area. We have also introduced Command Livestock, and we think we are in excess of two million jobs,” Mnangagwa was quoted as saying.
But opposition parties and the country’s trade union federation said this was “an insult to millions of unemployed people roaming the country’s streets”, reported the privately-owned Newsday.
The Morgan Tsvangirai-led Movement for Democratic Change’s (MDC-T) youth leader Happymore Chidziva said that Mnangagwa’s claims were inaccurate, as there were many people who were unemployed in the country.
He said many of the country’s citizens didn’t have formal jobs, but rather depended on street trading.
He, however, warned that street trading shouldn’t be counted as a job, as it was highlighting the severity of the country’s unemployment levels.
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions secretary general Japhet Moyo also rubbished the claims, saying that only 6% of Zimbabweans had jobs.
He said that many industries were slowly dying, due to the country’s underperforming economy, leading to more job losses on a daily basis.
“We have seen people losing jobs, and most companies have now resorted to putting workers on fixed contracts. The VP cannot be right, by any stretch of imagination, unless he thinks vending is a job,” Moyo was quoted as saying.