Workers demand lockdown…as JSC suspends operations

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Vasco Chaya and  Tarisai Machakaire
STAFF WRITERS

WORKERS have demanded that government imposes a two-week lockdown on the country as part of efforts to contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus (Covid-19) and threatened to take the route of stayaways if the government ignores their demands.

Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), the country’s largest labour body yesterday engaged the Tripartite Negotiating Forum (TNF) over the issue, which has been escalated to the government for immediate action following the death of broadcaster Zororo Makamba from coronavirus.

“We have told the government to enforce a lockdown of the country for two weeks and no one should risk going to work specifically considering lack of preparedness the country faces to tackle the virus.

“We implore government to treat our request with the urgency it deserves or else no one will report for work because we are already recording deaths caused by Covid-19. It is necessary for government to follow what other nations are doing warding off nonessential workers,” ZCTU president Peter Mutasa said.

“We believe this will give us time to understand the disease and come up with better response mechanisms because at the moment, even the health care givers who are supposed to handle Covid-19 are not well equipped.”
President Emmerson Mnangagwa last week imposed a ban on public gatherings of more than 100 people and early closure of schools as part of efforts to contain the spread of Covid-19.

But, however, despite Mnangagwa’s ban, large crowds are still witnessed with people going on with their day-to-day business.

As Covid-19 death cases and deaths continue rising, some countries have put their citizens on lockdown and these include China, Denmark, El Salvador, France, Italy, New Zealand, Poland and Spain among others. This comes following the death of over 11 000 people globally.

Meanwhile, the Judicial Services Commission (JSC), has with immediate effect, suspended non-urgent court hearings and registration of weddings for the next two months as part of measures to contain the spread of the lethal coronavirus.

“Following the public notice and pronouncements by the President on Covid-19 protection measures the Chief Justice now directs that trials and non-urgent hearings must be postponed for a period not less than two months except urgent matters, bail applications and initial remands,” JSC said in a statement.

“All weddings are cancelled and parties may approach the courts for booking after a period of two months. No hearings will be done in chambers. In instances where hearings are held these should be confined to parties involved in the case and their legal practitioners. Those not involved are discouraged from attending or coming to court.”

JSC said they were scaling up measures to improve hygiene at their centres where fumigation and sanitisation are going to be a regular exercise.

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