Chamisa - The devil's advocate

Chamisa - The devil's advocate
Published: 11 July 2018 (451 Views)
Today's press conference of the Zimbabwean Workers for Justice is an important moment for all Zimbabwean workers. It is a wake up call.

An organization battling the high profile Zuva Petroleum Supreme Court ruling of July 2015 is welcome and long overdue.

Trade unions estimate that over 30,000 workers lost their jobs as a result of that ruling. When one takes into account the dependents of these tens of thousands, the number of people affected by the disastrous, unfair and unequitable ruling of three years ago, could run into the hundreds of thousands.

It created a reign of fear among all workers around the country at the time and allowed employers to impress themselves further in the imbalance between them and their employees, good honest workers.

There probably wasn't a more anti-worker ruling in the history of Zimbabwe.

We the workers who were humiliated by this ruling deserve justice. The people involved have carried on their lives while the workers had to scurry for food or money and some have yet to get their lives back on track.

One of the greatest protagonists in this story who has yet to account for his role as an advocate on behalf of Zuva Petroleum, who argued for the immediate termination of workers' contracts, was one Nelson Chamisa.

Chamisa, who was an MP at the time for the MDC, which claim to represent the workers, was so inexorably involved in this ruling that he was accused of working "to defeat the working class".

Tinashe Chisaira, a former member of the Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development, accused Chamisa of betraying workers, the same people who were instrumental in his political rise, even dismissing those who defended Chamisa as "only doing his job".

"Some, who say the man was only doing his job, need to be reproached for the absurdity of such ill-reasoning. A similar excuse was surely the shield for black soldiers who fought on the sides of the Rhodesian Army and Intelligence and claimed to be "only doing their jobs," said Chisaira.

Now that Chamisa is running for the highest office, and on a pro-worker ticket, it is time for him to account for his role in this dark chapter which led to so much grievance and suffering.

Some of those dismissed are now finally receiving a small measure of compensation, but no amount of money can fully recover the dignity and honour they lost over the years.

Only a full accounting can do that.

Chamisa put his heart and soul into his work for Zuva Petroleum, and when he went back to his comfortable house at the end of the court case, thousands of Zimbabwean workers went back to their homes in great anxiety without hope or money to pay for food or basic amenities.

To many, Zuva Petroleum became the devil incarnate for what they did to tens of thousands of workers, and Chamisa was their willing servant, their advocate.

In essence, Chamisa was the devil's advocate.

Before the elections, we, the workers, who suffered so terribly because of him without a word of sympathy or empathy, need Chamisa to finally account for what he did to us.

At the very least, we deserve an unreserved apology.

- Knowledge Moyo

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