The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) expressed great disappointment in the re-introduction of the Zim dollar as sole legal tender by the government and vowed that they unleash a legal battle and prove that the move was unconstitutional.
Speaking at a press conference in Harare on Tuesday, Peter Mutasa ZCTU president said the ZCTU was currently engaging with their lawyers to assess the legality of this issue and would file an urgent chamber application to fight the government’s position.
“We are therefore consulting our lawyers and we may file an urgent chamber application challenging the constitutionality of the policy pronouncement and that it is also a violation of Section 13(2) of the constitution which obligates government to involve the people in the formulation and implementation of development plans and programmes that affect them,’ said Mutasa.
He said they were fully confident that they will win the case as the government was violating the Tripartite Negotiation Forum (TNF) Act section 3 (a), (c) and (e).
Part of the section reads
The function of the TNF shall be to ‘’Consult and negotiate on social and economic issues and submit recommendations to the Cabinet”.
Mutasa further reiterated that the re-introduction of the Zim Dollar was a critical issue subject to intense dialogue and it shows hypocrisy and it will be patronizing for the government to unilaterally make such a huge policy announcement at a time social partners were preparing to meet.
The TNF partners are supposed to meet tomorrow (Wednesday, 26 June 2019)
The ZCTU stated that it condemns such flagrant disregard for social dialogue and respect for social partners, and in particular violation of Section 13(2) of the Constitution which obligates government to ‘’…involve the people in the formulation and implementation of development plans and programmes that affect them.’’
‘’We would like note that Government has been taking its people for granted for quite some time now, lying when it introduced the bond notes in 2016 that they were adequately backed by lines of credit from Afreximbank, that the 1:1 exchange rate between the USD and the RTGS were also backed by adequate lines of credit when separated NOSTRO and RGTGS Foreign Accounts (FCAs)in October 2018, and again that the inter-bank foreign exchange market would stabilize after its introduction in February 2019 on the back of ‘unproven’ external lines of credit.
“All this proved to be false guarantees as the local currency could not match against the USD and other foreign currencies’’ said Mutasa.
It seems the government has failed countless times to bring a lasting solution to all the burning problems Zimbabwe is facing and it also important to observe that Government profligacy and fiscal imprudence led to the debauching of the Zim dollar during the hyperinflation period of 2006-2007 and now through chronic high inflation, he noted.
The ZCTU made it crystal that it has not moved from its position that the short-term solution is to dollarize and as such it is going into TNF to demand USD salary payments for all employees .
“If the government does not reverse this ruinous policy immediately and announce USD payments it will immediately mobilize workers for mass action with the lawsuit as a side-arm,” he said.