Embrace patriotism, TNF members urged
Leonard Ncube Victoria Falls Reporter
Tripartite Negotiating Forum (TNF) partners should have a mind-set change and embrace patriotism to ensure a common goal of developing the country through social dialogue, Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Professor Paul Mavima said yesterday.
The TNF is a social dialogue platform that brings together Government, business and labour to negotiate key socio-economic matters.
A TNF retreat that was held in Victoria Falls yesterday to discuss a number of issues aimed at prospering the country. It was the first TNF retreat in 10 years and comes after President Mnangagwa, in June 2019, launched the TNF Act whose provision is to reignite and foster social dialogue, as the Second Republic ushers in a new mantra of leaving no-one behind.
Prof Mavima gave a keynote address at the retreat that was attended by Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa, who was representing Government as Leader of business, Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Dr Anxious Masuka, whose ministry is the biggest employer in the country, Finance and Economic Development and Energy and Power Development deputy ministers Clemence Chiduwa and Magna Mudyiwa respectively.
Labour and business representatives were also there as well as development partners. Prof Mavima said the retreat was organised to strengthen engagement as TNF was central to implementation of the country’s Constitution, which seeks to bring all Zimbabweans together.
“My clarion call remains social dialogue. Let’s lead mind-set change and lead by example for Zimbabwe to realise its dream,” he said.
“Studies have shown that lack of negotiation is a pull back and people tend to be very negative about their country. We are at the retreat where the three social partners are meeting to come up with a social contract for this country. “The vision has already been articulated and polarisation, political contestations are not needed. As we implement National Development Strategy (NDS1) as one of the tools, it is important that Zimbabweans under TNF come together towards that mind-set change.”
Prof Mavima said conditions of service for public sector workers particularly salaries remain pertinent.
He said Zimbabwe has what it takes to develop with local resources.
“I am very happy about what came from Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions which said its primary focus is to engage in social dialogue.
“That’s very positive and there is need to continue building dialogue and what we need is operationalisation of the TNF secretariat,” he said.
Minister Mutsvangwa said social dialogue was central to the Second Republic mantra of leaving no-one behind.
“What we have seen today is that Zimbabweans are saying let’s remove mistrust and finger pointing and sit down. It is important to make sure we align our issues as patriotic Zimbabweans. The importance of social dialogue cannot be overemphasised when it comes to economic development of any country.
“It is important is for Zimbabweans to come together and look at each other not as enemies but as patriots to build the country together. It is important to live our country and not to listen to outsiders and detractors,” she said.
Minister Mutsvangwa said it was important to remove mistrust among TNF partners.
“If we going to be successful in building Zimbabwe, we need to start being patriotic and trying each other. We do represent the whole population,” she said.
Dr Masuka said social dialogue was key to the agricultural sector and its parastatals where over 27 000 workers are employed.
“Potentially over one million people can be employed in organized agriculture so it is in that regard that we are here to look into TNF and social dialogue and social contract to ensure higher agricultural production, better business and remuneration,” he said.
Incoming ZCTU president Ms Florence Taruvinga said the trade union was committed to social dialogue.
Employers Confederation of Zimbabwe representative Mr Farai Dube said business was committed to social dialogue as that would lead to sustainable business.