PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe, whose party was re-elected in 2013 on the strength of creating 2,2 million jobs within five years, has called on Zimbabweans to create their own jobs in the small to medium enterprise (SME) sector instead of waiting to be employed.
BY BLESSED MHLANGA
Speaking at a SME expo at the Zanu PF headquarters in Harare yesterday, Mugabe said Zimbabweans should not moan about the high unemployment in the country, as they could easily create jobs for themselves.
“We want people to create jobs for themselves and not to wait to be given work. Create jobs and employ others, we do not want people who just cry for jobs. Let’s have less tears and more sweat,” he said.
The expo, which was attended by representatives from the 10 provinces and a number of SMEs, led by their minister Sithembiso Nyoni, also turned out to be a belated birthday celebration for the veteran leader, as he was presented with gifts.
Mugabe received sugar, maize meal, cooking oil and paint from a number of SMEs, including from Jamaya Muduvuri’s Marcshep Investments, to donate to institutions or persons of his choice.
Speaking on the sidelines of the expo, Nyoni said SMEs had become the mainstay of the economy, replacing big corporates, which have been closing shop or cutting jobs leaving many unemployed.
“They now account for 70% of those who fund Treasury through tax and they have to be accommodated and promoted instead of being looked down at, especially by local authorities,” she said.
Instead of creating the promised 2,2 million jobs, thousands of Zimbabweans have been left jobless after massive retrenchments were recorded in the past year, turning many into street vendors.
As Mugabe called on Zimbabweans to create employment for themselves, just less than a kilometre away, over 3 000 jobless people queued outside TelOne for the chance of becoming brand ambassadors for NetOne.
The minimum requirement for the job was an android phone using version 4.9, five Ordinary Levels and aged between 19 and 35 years.
The brand ambassadors, who will be known as the orange brigades, according to a NetOne spokesperson, will earn a minimal commission as they sell products including the One Fusion comprehensive prepaid package as the limping economy leaves many on the brink of destitution.