1 October 2017

Zimbabwe: Emcoz Faces Expulsion Over Membership Fee

The Employers' Confederation of Zimbabwe (Emcoz) faces expulsion from the International Organisation of Employers (IOE) if it fails to pay its membership fee as it is still to access foreign currency from its account through the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) since April this year, businessdigest has established.

The development comes at a time when there is a debilitating liquidity crunch and an acute cash shortage that has severely crippled industry which cannot import critical inputs for their operations.

Last year, the central bank came up with an import priority list for the efficient allocation of the scarce foreign exchange.

Emcoz executive director John Mufukare told businessdigest this week that they had applied to the RBZ in April this year for US$4 700 to pay its IOE membership fee but are yet to receive the money.

"We made an application to the Reserve Bank in April to have the funds for IOE membership released and if we do not receive the funds by the end of the year, we will definitely be kicked out of the IOE," Mufukare said.

He said the membership fee had to be paid in Swiss Francs, which was the equivalent of US$4 700 at the time they had applied to the central bank. This, Mufukare said, could mean that they might have to pay more than this figure given the fluctuating exchange rate.

Mufukare said the consequences of being kicked out of the IOE would be "ghastly" as it would mean the country would be isolated from the formulation of international labour standards.

"If you cannot align yourselves to ILO standards and regulations, you cannot be deemed progressive or enlightened. You probably fall into the realm of what Winston Churchill described as the unacceptable face of capital," Mufukare pointed out.

He said the expulsion of Emcoz from the IOE would also have a negative impact on the country's investment climate.

"The type of investors we are looking for as a country will be looking for an enabling environment and the expulsion of organised business from the IOE is not part of that," Mufukare said.

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