Fungai Lupande Mashonaland Central Bureau
Cooperatives have so far played a role in providing affordable housing to low income earners, and contributing significantly in agriculture, financial inclusion and the manufacturing sector.
This was said by Women’s Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Minister Dr Sithembiso Nyoni during the International Day of Cooperatives in Bindura last week.
The celebrations ran under the theme, “Coops for decent work”.
Dr Nyoni praised cooperatives for their unity of purpose.
“I urge you to continue in that spirit,” she said. “The International Day of Cooperatives should be a platform for advocacy to woo new members who can only be attracted to your achievements.”
Dr Nyoni said in line with this year’s theme, the call for a clean workplace environment, adequate safety, an above poverty datum line earning and work values that promote dignity, equity and equality, was getting louder worldwide.
She said unemployment and job insecurity were twins that haunted most youths and women.
“There are calls for new models of development and an increasing number of enterprises have come up with innovative solutions to improve the organisation of work and production,” said Dr Nyoni.
“Cooperatives are increasingly recognised as key drivers in this diverse ecosystem.”
President of the Zimbabwe National Co-operative Federation, Mr Mike Duru, condemned corrupt cooperatives and called for the arrest of land all barons.
“The Zimbabwe National Cooperative Federation will not support corrupt cooperatives and condemn corrupt land barons,” he said. “We will not stand with wrong doers and we call for the non-discriminate arrest of all corrupt land barons.”
The federation has over 1,5 million individual members, with indirect beneficiaries of up to three million, said Mr Duru.
He said more than 20 cooperative leaders were sent to Domboshava Training Centre for skills development and the programme will be spread to all provinces.
Mr Duru said cooperatives were people centred enterprises, characterised by democratic control that prioritise human development and social justice within the workplace.