ZCTU sets dates for job stay-away but keeps them secret

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By Alois Vinga

THE Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has set July 22 and 23 as the dates for a planned job stay-away but has kept the plan under wraps for fear of a State backlash.

Leaked documents from the country’s main labour group reveal ZCTU was pushing for the two days to register disgruntlement over government’s recent scrapping of the multi-currency system in place of the Zim-dollar as well as poor salaries and living condtions.

A call for a stayaway by ZCTU and other citizen movements January this year ignited fierce rioting in the country with the military called in to quell protests leading to the death of 17 civilians.

ZCTU leaders were later summoned by police who charged them with subversion.

However, as if to draw lessons from their January experience, the ZCTU has kept the planned stay away dates a secret until the time it would be most appropriate.

Contacted for comment, the union’s secretary general, Japhet Moyo did not deny that plans for the action were underway but he declined to shed more light on the finer details.

“At our meeting on the 3rd of July 2019, the general council resolved on a number of issues that we are going to be pursuing. All the issues are part of the build up to our national action in the form of a stay away,” Moyo said.

Officials close to the once influential labour group’s activities said the apparent secrecy around dates for the stayaway was caused by behind the scenes manoeuvres by ZCTU to convince other stakeholders to join the job action.

Trade union activities in Zimbabwe have become increasingly dangerous for organisers with Obert Masaraure, leader of the militant Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe abducted and tortured by suspected state agents recently for his repeated demands for a living wage for teachers.