Faith Katete and Millicent Mtombeni
There is no forced labour in Zimbabwe’s prisons, Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Professor Paul Mavima said on Tuesday while responding to reports presented by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions and Amalgamated Rural Teachers Representatives of Zimbabwe to the Committee of Experts.
Minister Mavima said the International Labour Organisation should not be used to advance the political agendas of some labour unions.
“I did indicate that there is no forced labour in the prisons of Zimbabwe which is the subject of Convention 105,” he said. “It will be misleading for the Committee of Experts to focus on things that are not there.”
Prof Mavima said the Committee of Experts should not focus on issues that are not linked to forced labour. My Government is serious and committed to achieving its set goals as a member of the ILO and does not tolerate derailment of its well-meaning national programmes by those that are bent to furthering political goals or supporting wrong causes in my country,” he said.
Some interventions from labor unions present glaring evidence of motivated falsehoods aimed at distorting realities in Zimbabwe. “Presumptive divinations are even proffered as amply illustrated by the speculation that had the 20 ZCTU members been convicted, they would have been subjected to forced labour.
“The motives that inspire such pranks, are at best, obscure. We should therefore be wary of using ILO as a machine to advance political agendas. The ILO stands for social justice in the world of work. Let us all be guided by these values,” he said.