Police block Civil Servants’ march 

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By Anna Chibamu

THE Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) Friday blocked civil servants’ unions under the banner Zimbabwe Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions (ZCPTSU) from holding a demonstration over poor salaries, citing a “tense situation” in the country.

About 16 unions representing civil servants were supposed to handover a petition to the government over poor salaries.

Police, in a letter seen by, had written to the Unions on May 26, 2022, allowing the march to go ahead.

However, Friday morning, three police vehicles with armed anti-riot officers descended on the Public Service Association (PSA) building at Livingstone Avenue and Third Street, Harare, and told the Union leaders to postpone their march.

Addressing journalists during a press conference, PCPTSU secretary-general, David Dzatsunga, said police, who had sanctioned the march, told them the event could not continue as planned due to the prevailing edgy situation countrywide.

“We had intended to hold our march to serve the ministries of Labour and Finance respectively and parliament with petitions over civil servants’ salaries, but police informed us that the situation in the capital is tense.

“The police alleged our procession could end up being hijacked by some other unscrupulous elements, leading to an uncontrollable chaotic situation. It is for that reason that we had to defer the march to sometime soon. Certainly in the coming week, we should be able to do that action, which is overdue,” Dzatsunga said.

The disagreements between the government and its employees have been ongoing for several years.

Dzatsunga said there is still no consensus over salaries and other benefits for workers by both parties.

“We have written to the ministry of Public Service four times now requesting an urgent meeting. It is common cause that the current economic environment, the hyper-inflationary environment, and the exchange rate madness that is facing us as a nation, are hitting hard on civil servants and all workers in general.

“The ministers have not replied to our correspondence to date. Ministers prefer to talk about our grievances through the press without engaging us. We believe this is not professional, as we write to them officially,” added Dzatsunga.

He further outlined that most of the unions’ members were facing real poverty.

“They are facing real challenges. There is a lot of victimisation taking place from the Public Service Commission (PSC), where some of our members have had their salaries deducted unilaterally, without due process, and we are disturbed by that. We do not believe that the government harasses our members. Some of our members who did not turn up for duty in January have been suspended too. The government should not behave this way. It should know that our members are incapacitated,” said Dzatsunga.