ZCTU Leaders Meet President Mnangagwa Amid Labour Capture Allegations
The leaders of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) recently met President Emmerson Mnangagwa at State House amid criticism by the union’s affiliates of betraying the workers’ cause and hobnobbing with State officials.
The NewsHawks reported that ZCTU leaders were accused of misleading the International Labour Organisation (ILO) at a meeting in Switzerland over Zimbabwe’s bad human rights record.
They informed ILO that Zimbabwe no longer had a bad human rights record, resulting in Zimbabwe being struck off the list of 24 countries with a terrible human rights and labour injustice record.
During the trip to Geneva last month, ZCTU president Florence Taruvinga, and secretary-general Japhet Moyo flew out of Zimbabwe together with the government delegation led by Labour Minister Paul Mavima for the ILO meeting.
Zimbabwe Federation of Trade Unions secretary-general Kennias Shamuyarira was also in the delegation.
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The ZCTU leaders flew business class and the trip was funded by the Zimbabwean government, raising speculation that Taruvinga and Moyo could have been compromised.
The NewsHawks gathered that the State House “secret” meeting was facilitated by Mavima and happened on 7 July and the ZCTU was represented by Taruvinga and Moyo.
Moyo denied that their meeting with Mnangagwa was kept a secret to ZCTU affiliates and only publicised afterwards after word had leaked. Said Moyo:
ZCTU would like to dispute that it held any secret meeting with HE the President of Zimbabwe.
Actually, the meeting being referred to was urgently called on short notice and our affiliates were thereafter briefed.
You can check our Facebook page as well as our Twitter handle to attest that there was nothing secretive about the meeting.
The matter is already on the agenda for our next formal meeting. We further informed our affiliate representatives of the upcoming TNF meeting.
The agenda of the TNF is to receive the reports of the TNF technical committees.
All this information is going to be part of our discussions when we formally meet.
A memorandum sent to members of the ZCTU’s general council by Moyo about the meeting with Mnangagwa reads:
According to the informal invitation, the purpose of the meeting was to brief HE the President on the outcome of the ILC that was held in Geneva in June 2023.
However, for social partners, the meeting created an opportunity to engage on other pertinent issues that we have always raised with the line Ministry.
Our team was therefore able to inform HE the President about the challenges workers face, the volatility around socioeconomic matters that has affected the constituency and most important we wanted to understand government policy regarding safeguarding or protecting wages and salaries in the current inflationary environment.
We also raised our concern about the functioning and effectiveness of the TNF platform which has not been able to meet regularly to attend to the issues that the platform was constituted to deal with.
Our view was that there’s no seriousness on the part of the government at the TNF to address the challenges, alternatively, they are failing to deal with the situation.
The other matter we raised was the criminalisation of the trade union work and how our affiliates have struggled to access workplaces and we were able to give examples of Chinese investments where politicians have interfered with trade union work.
We also discussed the Labour Amendment Bill and differed with the employers’ representatives who indicated their objection to its assertion by the President.
The employers appear to be putting a strong opposition to the signing of the Labour Amendment Bill and have submitted their objection to the Ministry of Public Service and social welfare.
The ZCTU’s general council recently suspended Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) president Obert Masaraure over alleged misconduct.
However, the Zimbabwe Banks and Allied Workers Union (ZIBAWU) issued a statement condemning Masaraure’s suspension.
ZIBAWU said they believe Masaraure was being victimised for the speech he made on May Day as Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition spokesperson after ZCTU leaders tried to prevent him.
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