Police disrupt ZCTU march

BULAWAYO - Police in Bulawayo yesterday broke a Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) march to celebrate Human Rights Day, claiming the street parade had no police clearance.

Placard-carrying labour activists, sang and danced to protest songs in commemoration of workers’ rights, but were halted in their tracks by police who summoned the ZCTU leadership for questioning at Bulawayo Central Police Station.

ZCTU vice chairperson for the western region, Ambrose Sibindi told the Daily News police claimed ignorance of the march even though the union had notified them in advance.

“They asked us why we were marching without an escort. We told them they had delayed bringing the escort according to the clearance,” Sibindi said.

“We were then called to the police station for about 15 minutes, before they cleared us to continue with the march.”

Police later escorted the activists.

Meanwhile, addressing journalists at a press conference on the delayed payment of enumerators who participated in the 2012 census, ZCTU regional chairperson Reason Ngwenya said government had to pay for services rendered.

“We condemn the non-payment of enumerators because Zimta is our member. Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar,” an irate Ngwenya said, adding: “The enumerators must be paid for their services.”

The bulk of enumerators have yet to be paid the balance of their dues, with those in Matabeleland region having received $150 each.

At the end of the exercise three months ago, Zimstats instructed enumerators to submit banking details but nothing has so far been deposited in individual accounts.

The enumeration exercise ran short of $10 million needed to pay civil servants.

It is also alleged that the enumerators did not sign any contract with Zimstats.
“The challenge is they also do not know how much government owes them. Zimbabweans should not take part in something from now on without signing contracts,” Sibindi said.

“We should be wary of being used by politicians.”

There are now reports that civil servants have threatened to boycott participating in both the forthcoming referendum and the watershed election scheduled for next year unless they are paid. - Nyasha Chingono

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