ZCTU given green-light to protest

?????????????????????????Court Reporter
The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions’ planned demonstrations will go ahead tomorrow in all the six major cities and towns after the organisation obtained clearance from the police to stage peaceful demonstrations.

Initially, police in Bulawayo, Masvingo and Mutare had denied the labour movement permission for demonstrating but changed heart after they were sued at the High Court yesterday.

Justice Felistus Chatukuta granted the order by consent after police indicated that they were not opposing the urgent chamber application by ZCTU.

ZCTU lawyer Mr Jeremiah Bhamu confirmed yesterday that the protests would go ahead in all the major cities and towns. The demonstrations will take place tomorrow starting from 10am to 12pm in Harare, Bulawayo, Gweru, Mutare and Chinhoyi, according to ZCTU secretary-general Mr Japhet Moyo in a statement.

Mr Moyo said workers would gather at the ZCTU regional offices in the listed cities and towns and march to the offices of Resident Ministers to present their petitions. In the case of Harare, the petition will be handed over to the Minister of Labour and Social Welfare Prisca Mupfumira.

ZCTU said the demonstrations were meant to pressurise Government to address the welfare of workers and stop threats to freeze wages and push for the creation of jobs in fulfilment of the promise made during election campaigns.

However, police warned the labour activists against getting near Parliament and court buildings saying they risk being charged for allegedly contravening the provisions of the Public Order and Security Act (POSA).

Officer Commanding Harare district, Chief Superintendent Newbert Saunyama, wrote to ZCTU advising them that they had a right to hold peaceful demonstrations in terms of the Constitution in a letter dated April 7 this year.