Unrepentant’ Mnangagwa Govt Summoned Before ILO Committee Again

By Staff Reporter
President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s “unrepentant” government is among 40 world countries which will stand before International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) Committee on the Application of Standards (CAS) for violation of a convention on the rights of workers.
The preliminary list of cases seen by this publication was submitted by the social partners to the Committee on the Application of Standards.
The fate of the Southern African nation will be deliberated at the 109th session of the International Labour Conference which will run between the 3rd to the 19th of June 2021.
Zimbabwe has been on the labour organ’s agenda consecutively since 2002 for violating several conventions and the forthcoming listing becomes a record 12th appearance, something which has prompted labour experts to describe the country’s conduct as “unrepentant”.
ILO Commissions of Inquiry have visited the country in the past on fact finding missions related to labour rights violations.
This year, the nation has been hauled before CAS for violating ILO Convention No 105 on the Abolition of Forced Labour.
A report released ahead of the conference shows that among other violations, Zimbabwe has not done well in implementing human trafficking regulations after the trafficking of 72 Zimbabweans to Kuwait and the Middle East in 2016.
“The Committee requests the government to take the necessary measures to ensure the effective implementation of the Trafficking in Persons Act and to provide information on the convictions and penalties applied.
“It also requests the Government to continue to provide information on the number of cases of trafficking for both sexual and labour exploitation that have been detected and investigated by the competent authorities,” the report said.
ILO also noted that Zimbabwe’s repealed Public Order and Security Act (POSA) regulations on public gatherings were still being used to ban trade union meetings and other protests.
CAS said the Maintenance Of Public Order (MOPO) Bill has worrying similarities to POSA, revealing a common scope in which the exercise of the right to peaceful assembly is not fully guaranteed as it continues to give law enforcement agencies broad regulatory discretion and powers.
“The Committee therefore strongly urges the Government to take the necessary measures to ensure that sections 31, 33, 37 and 41 of the Criminal Law Code and sections 7(5) and 8(11) of the MOPO Bill are repealed or amended in order to bring them into conformity with the Convention,” said the report.
The committee recommended that the above measures can be achieved by ensuring that penalties involving compulsory labour, including sentences of imprisonment including compulsory prison labour, are not imposed on persons who hold or express political views or views ideologically opposed to the established political, social or economic system.
“Pending the adoption of such measures, the Committee requests the Government to provide information on the application of these provisions in practice, supplying copies of the court decisions and indicating the penalties imposed,” added the report.

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