By Tichaona Kurewa
Partners to the Tripartite Negotiating Forum (TNF) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to mark the beginning of the implementation of the fourth generation of the Zimbabwe Decent Work Country Programme.
The fourth generation of the Zimbabwe Decent Work Country Programme 2022 to 2026 has various key result areas including employment promotion, improving social dialogue and international labour standards, among others.
The MOU signing ceremony held in Victoria Falls this Monday saw a representative of the International Labour Organisation, Ms Cynthia Olonjuwon, reflecting on the importance of the programme in expediting economic recovery in the aftermath of COVID-19 and other global shocks.
“Zimbabwe, like many other countries, has not been immune to the multiple challenges facing global and regional economies, particularly the labour markets. One of the tried and tested ways to address this is through effective social dialogue. Hence the ILO’s extensive investments committed to supporting the national social dialogue initiatives and institutions – particularly within a context of shrinking resources.”
“I note that the recruitment of an Executive Director is a priority to get the Tripartite Negotiating Forum operating as an independent Secretariat. The standard operating procedures that the ILO supported will go a long way to ensure the existence of an effective and efficient body to address the country’s decent work deficits as well as the complex macro and socio-economic challenges, which are reflected in the labour market,” she said.
The government says the ZDWCP is aligned with National Development Strategy One.
Professor Paul Mavima, the Minister of Labour and Social Welfare said, “We need to make sure that we have restored hope in young people. We won’t be content in leaving the stage without solving this problem of Zimbabwe turning around its economy and giving hope to future generations. We need to make sure that we have done that to make sure that the country moves forward. There is no better forum than the one provided by the TNF because when these partners come together, that is the country.”
Labour and employers pledged their support to the full implementation of the ZDWCP.
Labour Unions representative, Ms Florence Taruvinga noted, “As labour, we are fully behind the DWCP because of its principle of promoting opportunities for work that is productive and delivers a fair income. The programme has aspects of security in the workplace, social protection for families, personal development, social integration, freedom of speech and association and the right to organise and participation by workers in decisions that affect their daily lives.”
“It is with great expectations that employers join other stakeholders in the promotion of decent work and effective social dialogue. We have walked together as social partners from 2005 the date when the Decent Work Country Programme was introduced to date. For us as employers, decent work and productivity are integral parts of any business strategy. This advocacy designed to promote efficiency and accountability in tripartite engagements is very important,” Mr Demos Mbauya, Employers Confederation of Zimbabwe, President said.
The signing of the ZDWCP preceded the High-Level Tripartite Dialogue for Southern Africa starting Tuesday in Victoria Falls to discuss various labour issues affecting the region.