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Labour law reforms by June: Mupfumira

The process of reforming the country’s labour laws is expected to be completed by June this year, Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare minister Prisca Mupfumira has said.

By Kudzai Kuwaza

Speaking at an Employers’ Confederation of Zimbabwe (Emcoz) Labour Reform Review meeting on Thursday, Mupfumira said the proposed new legislation on labour was currently being drafted at the Attorney General’s office.

“There are processes involved in the final enactment of the law. The principles were approved by cabinet. Workers in the Attorney General’s office are working on it,” Mupfumira said.

“Within the next month in March the draft should be ready.”
She said the draft was expected to be presented to stakeholders for fine-tuning in April with the aim of having the law ready by June this year.

Asked to comment on calls by Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya for a wage freeze this year complemented by the reduction in prices of goods and services, Mupfumira said the issue needed serious discussion as it had widespread implications.

Labour permanent secretary Ngoni Masoka said the principles of the Tripartite Negotiating Forum would soon be presented to cabinet for approval before being sent for drafting at the Attorney General’s office.

Masoka revealed that the establishment of the Zimbabwe National Productivity Institute (ZNPI) was yet to take off due to funding challenges. He said the ministry needed $1,2 million to establish the institute .

Conceived by the Tripartite Negotiation Forum in 1998 and launched in 2003, the ZNPI was designed to offer training, consulting, outreach/productivity awareness, research and information and sectoral studies services.

But it was abandoned before it could take off owing to hyperinflation. Mupfumira called on the private sector to help fund the establishment of the institute.

“Government is aware of the need to speedily establish and operationalise the ZNPI. It is envisaged that the institute would provide national productivity researches and benchmarks that can be used by parties in collective bargaining, among other functions.”

Mupfumira said. “I however, would like to call upon the private sector to partner with government in the establishment and financing of this institution”.

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