Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) has assured workers that it will continue to carry out its representative mandate without fear. Despite the heavy military clampdown on the organization’s 14 to 16 January stay away.
The 14 to 16 January stay away resulted in the death of at least 12 people and cost business over $2 million as looters collected goods in retails.
“We note that issues that prompted the January stay-away have not been fully addressed and we will not be deterred by the unleashing of the state repressive apparatus on workers and citizens,” ZCTU Secretary General Japhet Moyo said in a press release.
“The price madness is still raging, fuel is still not affordable and workers are still being paid in RTGS and bond notes when most commodities are being charged in hard currency.”
The government, in response to the protesters and looters, sent in the military to help the police force curb the stay away.
Zimbabwean authorities also shut down the internet accusing the cyberspace of fueling the violent protests.
“We would like to remind the government that the right to demonstrate is enshrined in the Constitution of Zimbabwe and security services must be used to facilitate such free expression, not as weapons against civilians,” Moyo said.
“Unleashing security services on unarmed civilians will not solve the socioeconomic strife.”
ZCTU also demands that the government addresses socioeconomic structural mismatches and implement practical policies that recognize workers’ rights and dignity.
“While we re-emphasize our call for workers and citizens to desist from violence during protest actions, we urge them to continue demanding accountability, jobs, affordability of basic commodities, good governance and state protection,” Moyo said..