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Govt has responsibility to create jobs - DPM Khupe

It is the responsibility of government to create jobs because every Zimbabwean who is in the working age group has a basic human right to employment, Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Thokozani Khupe has said.

Khupe emphasized that employment is a right which the government has a responsibility to respect through job creation, and promotion of foreign direct investment. DPM Khupe's party, the MDC led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, recently launched an economic blueprint ostensibly tied to foreign direct investment promotion and job creation called Jobs, Upliftment, Investment, Capital and the Environment (JUICE) on November 29, 2012. The MDC party proposes to create one million new jobs by 2018 if it gets the reins of government in the forthcoming elections next year 2013.

"Decent employment is a human right. Everyone has a right to have a job and a decent salary. Once the right to employment is realized, it also ensures that other rights such as entitlement to food, shelter, health and clean water can also be easily enjoyed," said Khupe.

Khupe regretted that most Zimbabweans of the working age are not employed and called on the government of Zimbabwe to pursue an economic growth strategy that creates jobs. Khupe also noted that the country's allegedly inconsistent policies towards Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) promotion have a negative impact on employment creation because they cause capital timidity and flight.

"About 90% of our people of the working age group are not employed. Government has a responsibility to create employment because we recognize that everyone has the basic human right to have a job. This also means that we should have investor friendly policies."

Khupe emphasized that there should be non-discrimination in employment policies which ensures equality where gender and disability are concerned.

"Women should also have equal opportunities to getting employed. Disabled people are also entitled to employment and must not be discriminated against during selection for employment," said Khupe.

She added: "Infrastructure should be provided which ensures non-discrimination of disabled people in the work place."

Khupe posited to this end, workplaces, including buildings, should have facilities for the disabled people to access them without much difficulty. Such infrastructure includes electronic lifts, she elaborated.

She also impressed upon the audience that education which is synchronized with employment creation is vital to the general upliftment of Zimbabwean youths.

Khupe said: "Every child must be able to go to school. Education is a right for everyone. Without education it is difficult to get employed. But education alone also is not very useful, in an environment where there are no jobs."

Khupe was addressing a big audience of more than 5000 Human Rights Defenders who were gathered at the International Human Rights Day Commemorations organized by the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZIMRIGHTS) in Harare on Friday December 6, 2012.

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