Government spokesperson, Nick Mangwana Monday said unemployed graduates need to stop inviting sanctions from the Western powers if they are to realize dreams of acquiring jobs as the economic embargoes limit job creation.
Zimbabwe has been on the USA and European Union sanctions list since the early 2000s after the highly disputed land reform program which gave back farms to black farmers.
The sanctions have been used by the government to solidify a lack of development and the downgrading of the economy since then.
Unofficial employment figures point that more than 85% of Zimbabweans are not formally employed with the majority being youths who rely on the informal market for jobs.
In a tweet, Mangwana said companies have been affected by the sanctions because they cannot access international capital hence most have closed leaving thousands of job seekers stranded.
“Yes, there is a direct relationship between your unemployment and sanctions. The company that was supposed to employ you was refused international capital because the blight of Sanctions raised risk profile. You root for sanctions, you root for own hardship,” Mangwana said.
However, when President Emmerson Mnangagwa took over from the late Robert Mugabe in 2017, he promised jobs and in the lead up to the 2018 elections, employment creating was his swansong.
“We want to grow our economy, we want peace, we want jobs, jobs, jobs,” Mnangagwa told party supporters upon his return from exile in November 2017, a message he has repeated on several occasions, giving hope to thousands of job seekers.
However, the Mnangagwa administration has failed to follow up on that promise as more companies continue to close with employees losing their source of income in the process.
Mnangagwa has also urged Zimbabweans to stop moaning about the impacts of the sanctions while elaborating the need to focus growing the economy.
“Yes, sanctions are there but we should not continue talking about them. We must have solutions and already, we have solutions in agriculture and this should cascade to all sectors,” Mnangagwa told delegates to the chief’s conference in Gweru in January 2018.
The President is also on record showing his displeasure at the way the educational curriculum is crafted which he said needs to produce technical graduates rather than those with theory-based knowledge.
“But again I have meetings with institutions of higher learning and captains of industry. We want to make sure our institutions of higher learning do not just churn out graduates, we have graduates with PHD who do not know how to make potato chips,” he said.
“So it is necessary that we have graduates coming out of these institutions who relate and can be absorbed into the industry and commerce.
“So our curriculum must also change in that regard so that we do not only produce people who look for employment, we must also produce persons who when they leave colleges are able to start businesses and create products this is what we are doing,” Mnangagwa said during last year’s Independence Day celebrations.
Since then, the Mnangagwa administration has laid the blame for failing to move the economy forward on the sanctions and have since held an anti-sanctions demonstration, with buy-in from SADC countries.
The United States government still maintains that the sanctions are targeted at a few individuals not the generality of zimbabwe.
In March this, the US Congress extended its sanctions Zimbabwe by another year, alleging lack of reforms by Mnangagwa’s administration.
At the time, the US said Zimbabwe still threatened its foreign policy.