Blessings Mashaya 10 October 2018
HARARE – Plans by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) to
demonstrate against the recently introduced tax were thrown into disarray
yesterday after police banned the protest saying government is still to
contain the cholera outbreak.
In a statement yesterday, the police said last month’s ban on public
gatherings still stands and ZCTU cannot be allowed to carry on with their
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police wishes to advise members of the public that
the directive by the ministry of Local Government… to ban public
gatherings in the Central Business District and other public areas still
“Therefore, the organisers of the intended demonstrations by ZCTU and its
affiliates should take note of the government’s directive particularly the
movement of large numbers of people from one point to another which
includes cholera epicentres.”
The police said the authorities are still making efforts to curb cholera.
“The on-going operation by local authorities and other stakeholders has
indicated that the cholera outbreak is not yet over particularly in
“Members of the public are accordingly warned that if anything turns nasty
those organising the demonstrations will be held responsible, especially
with regards to the maintenance of law and order.”
They warned ZCTU leaders against causing anarchy in the country.
“The ZRP urges members of the public to continue observing peace and allow
the security services and other stakeholders to ensure that there is
security and order as the relevant authorities step up efforts to end
However, ZCTU president Peter Mutasa said they are considering taking the
legal route to challenge the ban.
“Even in its statement, the ZRP has shown that it is aware that it does
not have any legal basis to stop our demonstrations.
“It cannot hide behind the cholera matter either. Every day people are
getting in and out of Harare and these are the same people we are calling
on. There won’t be any eating as we are poor and cannot afford to prepare
meals for the thousands. The attempt to use cholera is therefore
“We, however, know that this statement is issued simply to threaten us and
the public into submission.
“The police should also not be allowed to threaten citizens with
unspecified action for exercising their rights to demonstrate and petition
especially on such a serious matter affecting the public.”
The announcement of a new two cents tax per dollar transacted has seen
prices of basic consumer goods increasing.