By Alois Vinga
THE Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has criticised ‘judicial activism’, which it says is an emerging form of brutality against the workers.
The ZCTU 2022 Police Brutality commemorations have been held since 2007, in honor of the fearless labour activists tortured by the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) on September 13, 2006.
The incident saw the inhumane treatment of 147 unionists countrywide, leaving some with permanent injuries.
Over the years, victims including Tonderai Nyahunzvi, Moses Ngondo and Rwatipedza Chigwagwa lost their lives amid suspicions they succumbed to injuries sustained during the beatings.
Unionists have threatened to roll out mass demonstrations demanding a redress of the inequalities.
In her keynote speech to mark this year’s commemorations, ZCTU president, Florence Taruvinga said despite a decade having passed since the sad incident, the situation had not improved, with physical confrontation coupled with judicial activism continuing to rise.
“We are faced with brutality from several fronts. The repressive state apparatus has joined hands with the government and capitalists to annihilate the proletariats. Judicial activism has seen the courts conniving with government and employers.
“This has become the hypersonic weapon to deal with ‘troublesome’ workers in the absence of baton sticks and tear gas,” she said.
She said in wake of such setbacks, there is now a need to build and capitalise on holistic solidarity, a class consciousness suitable enough to defeat the neo-liberal capitalists’ agenda.
“Our significance is now hinged on our ability to rally our constituency to a common cause and effect synchronised responses to challenges,” said Taruvinga.
She said what boggles the mind was that business and the government have joined hands to frustrate the progress at the Tripartite Negotiation Forum (TNF), but, however, warned that crippling demonstrations to redress the challenges still remain an option.
“We hear the same message echoing from the high offices when it comes to demonstrations and strikes. This is not the time to relax.
“We could be in worse murky waters than before. We hear the same message echoing from the high offices when it comes to demonstrations and strikes. This is not the time to relax. We could be in worse murky waters than before.
“In that regard we pursue all means to have our voice and demands heard. We are not limited to social dialogue, our right to strike and demonstrate remains an option,” said Taruvinga.