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Contents of the draft TNF Bill, were approved and adopted by Cabinet on April 7, and that the document was now with the office of the Attorney General.

THE Tripartite Negotiating Forum (TNF) – a platform that brings together government, labour and the private sector – may suffer a stillbirth due to lack of funding.

Partners spearheading the initiative convened their first meeting in Harare this week more than five years after the forum had been shelved owing to sharp disagreements among its constituent members.

At the meeting to revive the project, partners agreed in principle to work around five broad points namely the legislation underpinning its resuscitation, the implementation of what became known as the Kadoma declaration the building of confidence in the country’s economy and the establishment of an independent secretariat to enhance the efficiency of TNF.

The Kadoma declaration of 2010 was meant to create an enabling economic environment for the TNF partners to achieve sustainable economic growth by addressing Zimbabwe’s risk factors while attaining a shared national economic and social vision.

Six years down the line, the document, authored in the mining town of Mashonaland West, is now being dusted from the shelves.

It is also meant to address issues of productivity through the establishment of the Zimbabwe National Productivity Institute.

Despite agreement on the way forward, the establishment of the secretariat to drive the process forward is largely dependent on the TNF Bill and the availability of funding.Government had hoped that the forum would be co-financed by business and labour since it is broke, but none of the two partners has the deep pockets to bankroll it.

To get around the prickly challenge, a TNF Technical Committee has been tasked with divising funding modalities, which include finding a development partner to complement the efforts of partners in this initiative.

Lack of funding has wreaked havoc with many projects.

For instance, the establishment of the Zimbabwe National Productivity Institute, whose legislation was proposed in the Labour Reform Principles documents, has stalled due to financial constraints.

In the meantime, Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister, Prisca Mupfumira, told both business and labour, during the meeting, that the contents of the draft TNF Bill, were approved and adopted by Cabinet on April 7, and that the document was now with the office of the Attorney General – government’s lawyers.

Government also noted during the meeting that the Zimbabwe National Employment Policy Framework, whose overall objective is to create decent jobs and skilled labour force among others, had been incorporated into some of its economic blue-prints.

The meeting disagreed, however, on the issue of the National Health Insurance Scheme, with some partners arguing that the consultation process had revealed that the people were against the idea and were also querying its relevance. — Own Correspondent.

Source : Financial Gazette