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Labour organisations pile pressure on Mnangagwa

by Staff reporter
13 Aug 2020 at 20:22hrs | Views
INTERNATIONAL labour organisations continue to pile pressure on President Emmerson Mnangagwa's government demanding that it respects workers' rights.

This follows the recent characterisation of the country's largest labour unions, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, by the ruling Zanu-PF party as a terrorist organisation.

Southern Africa Trade Union Coordination Council (SATUCC) said the Mnangagwa regime has failed to fulfil what they promised when they came into power in November 2017 and was now suppressing workers' rights.

"SATUCC, together with the international community joined the citizens of Zimbabwe to celebrate the resignation of President Robert Mugabe in November 2017 and the taking over of leadership of the country by President Emmerson Mnangagwa with the hope that the era of gross human rights violations which characterised President Robert Mugabe's reign, had finally come to an end. It is a pity that all those hopes appear to have been shattered with the developments obtaining in Zimbabwe.

"A trade union is a legitimate, transparent and democratic entity whose formation and operations are provided for in the national statutes and international labour standards. As such, a trade union can never be a terrorist organisation. SATUCC, therefore, vehemently condemns the labelling of ZCTU as a terrorist organisation and further bemoans the continued hostile treatment and intimidation of trade unionists and civil society activists' by State security agents in Zimbabwe," SATUCC said in a statement.

Secretary-general of the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) Zwelinzima Vavi told the media on Tuesday that his country must take action against Mnangagwa.

"The SA government has been treating the regime with friendliness, but it is time for the President to pick up the phone and say to Mnangagwa, ‘we will not allow your ministers to come here and get treatment when you have destroyed your health system there, and when Zimbabweans are trapped in a situation where the hospitals have no doctors or nurses."

This comes after the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) recently wrote a letter to Mnangagwa demanding his government to denounce Zanu-PF acting spokesperson Patrick Chinamasa's statement on labour unions.

In a letter dated July 29, ITUC said Mnangagwa's government is violating workers rights.

"On 27 July 2020, we noted a press conference convened by our party in which the acting spokesperson, Patrick Chinamasa, attacked and labelled our affiliate union a "Trojan Horse of the MDC Alliance and a terrorist organisation together with the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, a civil society organisation, and others not mentioned.

This follows efforts by your government and your party to disrupt a protest action against corruption in your country …

"We have been following up on your government's respect for human rights and trade union rights and have observed persistent attacks on workers rights and freedoms-these attacks in an attempt to silence critics who have justified demands. Day by day Zimbabwean workers are threatened, harassed and persecuted for demanding good governance of their country," the letter to Mnangagwa read.

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Source - dailynews