Zimbabwe fails to curb escalating unemployment crisis

Despite government intervention to stop employers laying off staff, the number of people without work is growing.

by

    The Zimbabwean government is struggling to deal with a worsening unemployment crisis as companies collapse or are forced to make redundancies. 

    Zimbabwe looks for more cash loans to solve debt crisis

    Officials in the country have tried to stop the trend by passing laws preventing organisations from laying off workers and forcing them to give workers severance pay, but economists warn the number of jobless will continue going up as the economy worsens.

    The current rate of unemployment in the country stands at 80 percent and worsening environmental conditions, such as an anticipated drought, will hit the country's finances harder.

    "We are anticipating a serious drought which might affect electricity production through next year as well as crop production ... we don't have the money to pay for the food we now need to import," said economist John Robertson.

    Business owners Al Jazeera spoke to said they felt they had few options other than cutting back on jobs.

    Many are operating at less than half their capacity and employers say they have to lay off workers, insisting the only way they can survive is by cutting jobs.

    Political stability

    Lovemore Madhuku, a lawyer representing workers, said the issue of unemployment posed a threat to the country's fragile political order.

    "In 2008 we had an election that was influenced largely by the economic framework ... the government of President [Robert] Mugabe found it very difficult to survive in that election.

    "If we have more people losing jobs it will cause more suffering... I don't see the government being able to deal with that situation."

    Zimbabwe's economic crisis is worsening and has taken a toll on employment rates and government expenditure. 

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Meet the deported nurse aiding asylum seekers at US-Mexico border

    Meet the deported nurse helping refugees at the border

    Francisco 'Panchito' Olachea drives a beat-up ambulance around Nogales, taking care of those trying to get to the US.

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    How a homegrown burger joint pioneered a food revolution and decades later gave a young, politicised class its identity.

    'We will cut your throats': The anatomy of Greece's lynch mobs

    The brutality of Greece's racist lynch mobs

    With anti-migrant violence hitting a fever pitch, victims ask why Greek authorities have carried out so few arrests.