By Staff Writer
A global labour group has ranked Zimbabwe among the ten worst countries for workers rights hinting that more still needs to be done in improving the country’s labour rights terrain.
The 2020 International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) index has ranked Zimbabwe in the worst category of 5+ joining other ten worst nations which do not respect workers rights.
The ITUC index ranks nations in groups ranging from one to five with the least number indicating favorable conditions which deteriorate as the numbers increase.
“The ten worst countries for workers in 2020 are the following: Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, aHonduras, India, Kazakhstan, the Philippines, Turkey and Zimbabwe,” the index said.
Countries in the 5+ category have no labour rights guarantee and are further categorized as having experienced a breakdown of the rule of law.
In arriving at the classification, the ITUC partly considered that 28 Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions
members still faced criminal charges after their arrest over a year ago.
If convicted, they could be sentenced to a mandatory ten-year jail term.
“ZCTU president Peter Mutasa and general secretary Japhet Moyo, both of whom had been arrested and charged with subversion, were released in February 2019, but they remained under strict release conditions, banned from traveling and forced to check in regularly at the police station,” the report observed.
Further, the global labour organ said the duo received anonymous letters containing death threats and bullets warning them against continuing with the planned strike action on 22 July 2019 and threatened to kill the two and harm their families.
Japhet Moyo received further threatening letters, with one of them containing a threat to rape his daughter.
ITUC said earlier in the year, on 5 June 2019, Obert Masaraure, the president of the Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ), was abducted at his house.
Said the global organ, “Cases of kidnapping are rampant following the disappearance of Doctor Peter Magombeyi and Masaure who were later released after being subjected to torture and ill treatment.”
The ratings also come at a time when inflation has hit 786% resulting in the erosion of salaries, a situation which has seen highly qualified Zimbabweans earning an equivalent of less than US$100.
Hopes of earning meaningful salaries are quickly vanishing as the projected targets given by Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube on economic stabilization when he took over in 2018 appear to have gone off the rails.