By Alois Vinga
POLICE in Mutare have banned the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) from holding its Manicaland regional consultative meeting, which was planned for Thursday in the eastern border town.
In a letter signed by the Officer Commanding Police in Mutare Central District, Florence Marume and addressed to the ZCTU Eastern Region organiser, Dickson Chaeruka, the police said they had not authorised the meeting.
“I acknowledge receipt of your letter dated February 20 2020 in regard to the above subject matter,” Chaeruka wrote.
“Please be advised that we have taken note of your notification to hold a labour forum on the 27th day of February 2020.The meeting has not been authorised and mustn’t be held during the night,” said the letter in part.
No specific reasons were given for the ban.
ZCTU Secretary General, Japhet Moyo said the ban was an infringement on the constitutional rights of workers.
“The situation we are experiencing is not different from what we went through during the former late President Robert Mugabe’s tenure but we are determined to take action if the police continue to be a barrier in front of workers constitutionally granted rights,” he said.
Moyo said he was in the process of engaging relevant government ministries over the matter and added that anti-riot police details besieged the city Thursday to scare away workers who intended to turn up for the meeting.
ZCTU leadership is currently conducting a national tour which kicked off on 25 February 2020 and is expected to end on March 5 2020 where stakeholders across its structures will be consulted on the way forward in relation to the obtaining economic challenges.
At its consultative meeting with the Matabeleland region held in Bulawayo early this week, the ZCTU leadership was urged to organise mass demonstrations in response to government’s continued failure to address the worsening economic situation in the country.