Zimbabwe: Social Dialogue a Priority - Minister

29 January 2020

Social dialogue is among Government's key priorities this year as much as it is essential in implementing the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP), a Cabinet Minister has said.

Officiating at the International Labour Organisation (ILO) tripartite retreat, Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Professor Paul Mavima said Government will prioritise social dialogue in 2020 with the aim of operationalising the Tripartite Negotiating Forum (TNF).

He said now that the TNF Act is in place, it will depend on the willingness and sincerity of the tripartite parties to make a difference in the social and economic environment in Zimbabwe.

Prof Mavima said the retreat comes at an opportune time as different Ministries and departments have recently been engaged in developing action plans of the work that they will carry out in 2020 and beyond.

"One of my legacy goals is to resuscitate meaningful dialogue at the TNF and help restore good relations among the tripartite partners. This is what we desire as Government and will spare no effort in working towards providing a conducive environment with relevant policy frameworks that are implemented effectively guided by the Kadoma Declaration 'Towards a Shared National Economic and Social Vision'," said the Minister.

"Having said this, I, therefore, wish to reaffirm Government's commitment to the social dialogue process and my personal interest in moving the work of the TNF forward. We want to create decent jobs through the TSP which is aimed at guiding the country's growth path towards attaining an upper middle-income economy status by 2030."

Prof Mavima said the retreat is a platform for partners to take stock of work done so far and strategically plan for the year.

It is a build-up from the TNF technical committee meeting in Kadoma last week where recommendations were made to spearhead social dialogue and inform policy decisions towards the socio-economic development of the country.

Prof Mavima said the establishment of an independent secretariat of the TNF is high on Government's priority list.

"I therefore call upon all relevant stakeholders to support this cause," said the Minister.

Prof Mavima called for the expedition of the Labour Law Reform process saying he will be tabling the Labour Amendment Bill before Cabinet soon.

He said the Second Republic is committed to upholding the rule of law and using domestic remedies to socio-economic challenges as well as creating decent jobs through the Zimbabwe Decent Work Country Programme.

The Minister said Zimbabwe had ratified 26 ILO conventions and will continue to adhere to the guidelines as the country pursues the re-engagement drive.

ILO is a technical partner to the country's negotiation forum.

ILO country director for Zimbabwe and Namibia Ms Hopolang Phororo said the workshop was meant to come up with specific actions on what needs to be done this year. She challenged TNF parties to enhance social dialogue.

The workshop, which started on Monday and was attended by TNF representatives, ended yesterday paving the way for a similar workshop for the National Joint Negotiating Council (NJNC) which started yesterday and ends on Friday.

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