By Alois Vinga
A GLOBAL labour group has ranked Zimbabwe among the 10 worst countries in the world that trample on workers’ rights.
The 2020 International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) index has ranked Zimbabwe in the worst category of 5+ joining other ten worst nations that do not respect workers’ rights.
The ITUC index ranks nations in groups ranging from one to five with the least number indicating favourable conditions which deteriorate as the numbers increase.
“The ten worst countries for workers in 2020 are the following: Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Honduras, India, Kazakhstan, the Philippines, Turkey, and Zimbabwe,” the index said.
Countries in the 5+ category have no labour rights guarantee and are further categorised as having experienced a breakdown in the rule of law.
In the index, ITUC noted that 28 Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) members still face criminal charges over one year after their arrest.
If convicted, they could be sentenced to a mandatory 10-year jail term.
The ITUC noted the arrest of ZCTU president Peter Mutasa and general secretary Japhet Moyo who were later charged with subversion in February 2019.
“But they remain under strict release conditions, banned from travelling and forced to check in regularly at the police station,” the index said.
The global labour organ said the duo received anonymous letters containing death threats and bullets. The letters warned them against continuing with a planned demonstration on 22 July 2019 and threatened to kill the two and harm their families.
Japhet Moyo received further threatening letters, with one of them containing a threat to rape his daughter.
ITUC said on 5 June 2019, Obert Masaraure, the president of the Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ), was abducted from his Waterfalls home in Harare by State security agents.
The abduction came after the ARTUZ leadership had denounced harassment and persecution of its members by security forces.