2 March 2018

Zimbabwe: Court Says No to Zesa Demos

The High Court has barred Zesa Holdings Private Limited workers from staging demonstrations, saying anyone caught protesting on the streets will be arrested.

Justice Clement Phiri yesterday granted an interdict sought by the power utility on the basis that the Energy Sector Workers' Union (ESWUZ), one of the respondents, had a pending demonstration appeal at the Supreme Court.

In December last year, another High Court judge Justice Happias Zhou ruled in favour of the power utility and interdicted the employees affiliated to ESWUZ from engaging in a collective job action, owing to the nature of their services.

After losing the first bid to demonstrate, ESWUZ took the matter up to the Supreme Court on appeal.

While the appeal was pending, ESWUZ joined two other unions -- National Energy Sector Workers' Union of Zimbabwe (NESWUZ) and Zimbabwe Energy Workers' Union (ZEWU) -- to stage a demonstration in Harare on February 28 this year demanding accountability and restoration of the corporate's legacy.

The workers had been cleared by Officer Commanding Police Harare Central District to go ahead with the street demonstration.

Zesa, through its lawyer Mr Taona Sibanda, filed an urgent chamber application at the High Court seeking to block the demonstration.

Justice Phiri, in his chambers, barred the unions from demonstrating.

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