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Day commemoration: Let us all stand up and defend the right to protest!
Restoration of Human Rights (ROHR)
May 01, 2010
joins the rest of the nation in solidarity with the Zimbabwe
Congress of Trades Union (ZCTU), its affiliates and the entire
workforce in commemorating this year's International Workers
Day, falling a few weeks after the celebrations of the second independence
anniversary under the tutelage of the three political parties in
the coalition government.
victory of the eight hour demonstrations in Haymarket Chicago in
1886 when several workers were massacred protesting against ruthless
social and economic conditions affecting workers, as an organization
we join the labor movement in amplifying the voices of workers against
the evils of capitalism, poverty, inequality, denial of the right
to protest freely on the violation of workers' rights.
acknowledge that the work force is the anchor of industry and chief
driver of economic growth in every growing economy despite the unbefitting
situation of downplaying their rights and legitimate demands.
Workers day comes at a time when the generality of the various sections
of workers from tertiary, health, farming, education have been turned
by design into perennial victims of an inconsiderate ruthless system
that has refused to yield to the multi faceted concerns affecting
their plight around the country. Not only is it too apparent but
also regrettable that despite the coming in of a new political dispensation
the bulk of the workers are still earning below the poverty datum
line of US $400.
situation has restricted teachers to a paltry salary between US
150 -240 since the coalition government came to power and the government
has remained stone cold to the widespread strikes seeking redress.
Working conditions for health workers have remained unfriendly due
to lack of refurbishment of infrastructure and equipment in state
have been grossly subjected to wide scale human rights violations
at the height of violent farm evasions by the youth militia, war
veterans and defiant political party supporters who are loyalists
to the self appeasing system of patronage.
spirit of the International labor movement, repression against labour
representatives and civil society members by the state and its agents
has intensified in the last decade as an unorthodox means to silence
workers from protesting on their grievances. This is evinced by
the recent arbitrary arrest of labor union workers, the President
Lovemore Matombo, shooting of unarmed worker protesters in Shurugwi,
the intimidation and harassment of the GAPWUZ
director Gertrude Hambira and her staff.
put by the courageous secretary general of the workers Union Wellington
Chibhebhe, '' as much as others may say the situation
is improving there is not much to show for the workers." This
in the backdrop of the introduction of the foreign currency economy
which has seen inflation dropping from a record high quadrillion
to 0.6 % following a decade of massive economic plunder, decay,
mismanagement and corruption.
As we commemorate
the day of the worker, ROHR Zimbabwe encourages the majority of
Zimbabweans to actively contribute towards shaping a people reflective
democratic constitution that respects, protects the rights, and
interest of workers as an integral part to nation building and utilize
the opportunity to redefine the current retrogressive legislature
curtailing the freedoms of the work force.
We also challenge
the coalition government to heed the voices of workers and realize
that true development can only be premised on development that is
workers centered and not a situation where the workers are manipulated
and under developed in the midst of moving forward. Workers are
the prime producers of wealth and products in every society and
therefore they are entitled accordingly to leave in dignity with
the highest standards of living.
We do not condone
a situation whereby the hard sweat of the workers is sacrificed
to solidify a dictatorial regime that feeds on snuffing the very
lives of the hardworking Zimbabweans who carry the country on their
Under the banner
of international labor movements we subscribe to the following demands
besieging the plight of workers in today's world particularly
- The unconditional
right of workers to act independently of the government and their
employees in striking, protesting, assembling, marching and speaking
freely should be guaranteed in the constitution as a protection
of the people's social rights in line with international
law and other statutes under labor movements.
- The poverty
datum line should be responsive to the demands of the basic needs
for an average family to live in the dignity of human beings as
enshrined in the Universal Declaration of human rights. The poverty
datum line should not be imposed by the government but rather
it should be a byproduct of the negotiations with intended beneficiaries.
- We condemn
any aggression towards protest against violation of workers'
rights as an infringement on freedom of expression.
that women constitute 52% of the population, we demand the eradication
of all forms of discrimination targeted at women. There should
be equality and unconditional access and for women in positions
of leadership, governance and in all areas of social, economic,
political, cultural and family life.
- We demand
that all pensioners should enjoy a dignified life without economic
concern and to eliminate any discrimination in the payment of
should freely engage in political activities and support political
parties of their choice without fear of reproach or persecution.
- Child labour
must be eradicated and all children must be entitled to educational
facilities, health and welfare, independent of gender and race,
religion, or social and economic status of their parents.
- We strongly
condemn the arbitrary arrest, trial and imprisonment of labour
- We tender
our support to the fight for legitimate demands of teachers, nurses
and other working classes of the society in their endeavours to
seek redress from the government and their employers.
should be made particularly by the coalition government in creating
a conducive environment to lure foreign investors to invest in the
country to stimulate growth of the manufacturing industry, create
jobs and overturn the record high percentage of unemployment which
is feared to be hovering above 80%.
the ROHR fact
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