Why I can never forgive Nelson Chamisa

Why I can never forgive Nelson Chamisa
Published: 11 July 2018 (438 Views)
This morning when I saw the Zimbabwean Workers For Justice's press conference, it all came flooding back. I was 15. My sisters were 8 and 6. My father, a humble man, a hard working man, lost his job.

We all felt the pain and the humiliation he felt. My mother went out to try and earn some money cleaning and cooking where she could. But his heart had already been broken. His pride had been crushed.

Amazingly, he had saved just enough to allow me to finish school. I always loved writing, and he was going to make sure that I finished my education so I could pursue my dreams. For all the problems Zim has, a passion for education has always been part of our very ethos.

I remember the discussions at home when the Supreme Court case was underway. Isn't Chamisa a politician? Isn't he supposed to be supporting us? Can it be the case that he is actually fighting against the worker?

I didn't understand the significance of this talk back then. I do now.

Let us rewind a bit. At the time in 2015, his own party was calling for him to step down after the Supreme Court Case sent shockwaves through our nation. The decision had declared that all workers could be fired - en masse - if need be, with a mere three month's notice. A simple letter of dismissal. Cue; a tidal wave of firings. Estimates suggest that as many as 30,000 employees were dismissed. Just. Like. That.

Now if you do the calculations, if each of those 30,000 employees had at least 3 dependents (probably more), we are looking at about 100,000 Zimbabweans who lost their livelihoods in one swoop. 100,000 Zimbabweans who could no longer put food on their table, afford education or basic healthcare to treat their sick.

We were one such family.

This is why when I saw that press conference, I rushed to borrow a friend's computer and start typing. We cannot allow this injustice to succeed. We must support this new organisation whoever is behind it. Frankly, I don't even care if it was politically motivated. Real people and real lives were destroyed by this case. And one of the leading components responsible for this national disaster is one of the leading candidates for president.

His disregard for the worker, the beating heart of this nation, and his decision to support big business is simply unforgivable. I understand of course if he was a private citizen, an average run of the mill advocate or simple lawyer, he could do what he wanted. But he was not. He was an MP at the time, an elected representative of the people, not supposed to be representing the rich foreign business owners. He was supposed to represent us.

And now he is running for president.

This is not a simple matter of forgiving and forgetting. This is serious. When I go to the polls in three weeks' time and make that big decision which will decide the fate of a nation, I will not forgive and I will not forget.


- Tom Nkala

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