Source: ZCTU march barred, ZFTU gets a yes – NewZimbabwe 30/04/2016
POLICE in Kwekwe have barred a march organised for the gold rich town by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) as part of its May Day commemorations for this year.
This is after the country’s largest labour based group had written to the law enforcement agents informing of their intentions to stage a march in the city.
However, in his response, police officer commanding Kwekwe district Chief Superintendent N. Mutomba said the march could not proceed as they had already cleared the holding of a similar procession planned for the same town by the rival Zimbabwe Federation of Trade Unions (ZFTU).
“Approval for the procession has not been granted. The other trade union organisation ZFTU has also notified its intent to hold a meeting at its separate venue from yours and a procession will invite unruly and criminal elements that would put business premises, motorists and other members of the public at risk,” read his response to the ZCTU.
ZFTU was formed few years back apparently to counter the activities of the ZCTU which has joined forces with the country’s main opposition MDC.
ZFTU has direct links to the ruling Zanu PF party.
Superintendent Mutomba also said police were inadequately resourced in terms of their manpower to cover the march.
ZCTU legal adviser, Zakeyo Mutimutema said the development was shocking as it was in direct violation of the country’s constitution which allow workers to organise their activities unhindered.
“It is unfortunate that the Zimbabwe Republic police continue to choose to disrespect workers’ constitutional rights to freedom of association, expression and demonstration protected by section 58 and 59 of the Zimbabwe Constitution,” he said.
Police have often been criticised by the country’s opposition and the opposition for selective application of the law which has often seen Zanu PF gatherings proceed unhindered while opposition ones are blocked.
The country’s laws only enjoin organisers of demonstration to only inform the police and not to seek permission.
This has often seen rally organisers turn to the courts to seek the reversal of police decisions.