Pressure mounts on govt to reinstate Matombo

Blessing Zulu

PRESSURE is mounting on the government to reinstate Lovemore Matombo, the president of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) who was dismissed last month.



face=”Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif”>Matombo was dismissed on January 23 by the Zimpost management for being away without official leave while leading the ZCTU delegation to the 8th ordinary Congress of the Organisation of African Trade Union Unity (OATUU) which was held in Khartoum.


Hassan Sunmonu, the secretary general of OATUU, last week wrote a letter to Labour minister July Moyo complaining about the dismissal.

“As you know, honourable minister, the action of the Zimpost management is a gross violation of human and trade union rights,” Sunmonu said.

“I cannot imagine that an African trade union leader can be dismissed from service for attending the OATUU congress. And such dismissal, coming from a parastatal of the Zimbabwe government, makes it doubly embarrassing,” he said.


Sunmonu asked the minister to appeal to Zimpost to reinstate Matombo unconditionally.


In another development, the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), which condemned the dismissal in a statement last week, has written to Moyo seeking Matombo’s reinstatement.


ICFTU secretary-general Guy Ryder said the dismissal was carried out on “totally spurious grounds and cannot be justified”.


“The ICFTU is outraged that Matombo has been victimised for his trade union activities and demand that you intervene immediately to ensure that he is reinstated in his position in Zimpost,” Ryder said.


“It is a deep embarrassment to your government that Matombo has been dismissed for attending a meeting of African trade unions when the government of Zimbabwe purports to be such a strong supporter of the African Union.


“As Minister of Labour, you will no doubt appreciate your government’s responsibility to guarantee full respect of internationally guaranteed principles on freedom of association and the right to organise, as embodied in the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention ratified by Zimbabwe.


Ryder said failure by the government of Zimbabwe to intervene would severely tarnish the image of the country on the African and wider international scene.


The ICFTU also said if no action was taken, it would call on the solidarity of its 151 million membership in 150 countries to launch an appropriate action against the government before the ILO.

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