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ZCTU Calls For Protests

THE Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has called for nationwide protests next week against the low maximum bank cash withdrawal limits imposed by the Reserve Bank.

Lovemore Matombo, the president of labour confederation, told journalists in Harare yesterday that the protest would be on Wednesday.
He implored workers and the public to take part in the protests.
 “December 3 2008, that is next Wednesday, is the day when workers and the generality of the public will throng banks and demand unlimited withdrawal of their money,” Matombo said.
He said the decision to protest against the central bank was arrived at during the ZCTU’s general council meeting in Masvingo on Tuesday, which deliberated on the problems faced by workers.
“The general council also noted that various labour forums which were held in all six regions of the country had resolved that a nationwide protest be organised, where workers will express their anger towards the current monetary policies being promoted by the central bank,” Matombo said.
He said the situation in the country had reached levels which were now beyond the comprehension of the generality of ZCTU members who were being forced to queue daily, some even sleeping outside banks for days, to get a paltry $500 000 from their hard-earned salaries.
Matombo said as a result of the cash limits many people have died of treatable diseases like cholera and dysentery after their banks failed to approve their bulk cash applications on time.  
“As workers we have always called on the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to remove the cash limit, but the central bank seems not to be taking us seriously,” Matombo said.
The country’s largest workers representative body also attacked the central bank for authorising a number of selected shops to trade in foreign currency when most workers were not paid in hard currency.
Meanwhile, more than 500 National Constitution Assembly activists on Wednesday held a protest march in Harare calling for the setting up of a transitional government to address the urgent needs of the people.
The NCA chairperson, Lovemore Madhuku, said the march was successful. “The demonstration was a success because of the big turnout and the police didn’t have the capacity to deal with the huge crowd,” Madhuku said.
Madhuku said the NCA would join the ZCTU in its Wednesday protest against the RBZ.


By Lucia Makamure

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