By Dylan Murambgi
Harare, June 03, 2016 – ZIMBABWE has been listed for special discussion at the ongoing International Labour Conference in Geneva, Switzerland over alleged serious labour violations and failure to observe international labour standards.
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) Secretary General, Japhet Moyo, who is attending the conference, said Zimbabwe was among 24 countries that will be under discussion, five of them from the African continent.
“Zimbabwe is on this list for violating Convention 98 and will be discussed on Wednesday June 8 from 10am to 1pm,” he said.
Moyo said the government was interfering with ILO Convention 98, which provided for the right to organise and collective bargaining.
He said the recent amendments to the country’s labour laws, which saw the minister getting veto powers over, among other things, collective bargaining agreements and operations of trade unions and employers’ organisations, had made Zimbabwe’s case even more deserving of the listing.
The listing, he noted, would negatively affect the country’s image in as far as investment was concerned as it meant many countries would choose not to do business with Zimbabwe for non-compliance with international labour standards.
“It puts the country in bad light for potential investors. It means the country does not adhere to the rule of law because these conventions are about International Standards; so if a country does not adhere to the convention, which was agreed internationally, it means this country, does not abide by the rule of law,” Moyo said.
ZCTU Legal Advisor, Zakeyo Mtimtema said the government would remain on the spotlight the Special Economic Zones Bill, which is currently being debated in parliament, is enacted into law.
The Bill makes companies in the Special Economic Zones immune to the provisions of the Labour Act Chapter 28:01.
The Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services, Prisca Mupfumira, is leading a government delegation to the conference which is also being attended by representatives from the Employers Confederation of Zimbabwe (EMCOZ).