Home » General » Legislation of TNF Top Partners Agenda

After almost five years of bickering, the Tripartite Negotiating Forum (TNF) is set to meet tomorrow to discuss, among other things, the legislation of the social partners’ platform, the harmonisation of labour laws, and the revival of the Kadoma Declaration of 2001.

The legislation of the TNF has been the biggest stumbling block in the implementation of the declaration, as the social contracts agreed to were not binding. This resulted in some social partners dragging their feet when it came to getting the programmes running. Like many documents that have been produced to try and salvage the country’s battered economy, the Kadoma Declaration touched on a number of socio-economic and political strategies but it has been shelved for almost 15 years because social partners lacked a sense of common purpose to tackle the issues bedeviling the country.

The TNF agenda setting committee, which met in Harare last week, agreed to have the issue on the meeting’s agenda raising hope among the partners that the TNF would finally be legislated and pave way for the implementation of their respective obligations.

Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) Secretary General, Japhet Moyo said the social partners’ platform was not effective because it was not legislated.

“The platform has been there over the years, and although it managed to achieve certain issues, it failed on a number because it was not legislated. In order to improve its effectiveness, whatever is agreed should be binding. Therefore the parties decided to legislate. So in our view, the legislation of the TNF is going to improve its effectiveness,” Moyo said.

He said all the three parties wanted the country to move forward and they all understood that they needed to make binding agreements and decisions.

“We have decided to have a social contract. You can’t have a social contract using the current TNF because it is a friendship agreement so I am confident that it will be legislated,” he said.

Moyo said the last formal meeting of the TNF had been held during the inclusive government, although the government had called ad-hoc meetings to deal with specific issues.

“We still talk about factors affecting the economy. We talk about confidence in our economy, we talk about what we term risk factors and in our view those factors have not been eliminated. Every investor still makes reference to the rule of law in this country, so to us they are still factors that affect business and are relevant up to today,” Moyo said.

Employers’ Confederation of Zimbabwe (EMCOZ) Executive Director, John Mufukare, was however cautious in his approach, saying government remained with the prerogative of how the legislation would be worded.

“It might not be really important to us because the TNF will not be able to tell government what to do although it could be more binding. We still do not know what format the legislation will take because we only agreed on principles. We did not see how it is worded and we don’t know whether everything that is discussed will automatically become binding,” he said.

The Director of Labour in the Ministry of Labour and Social Services, Clemence Vusani, confirmed the TNF meeting, but could not shed more light on the proposed legislation. Vusani referred further questions to the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, John Masoka, who requested questions in writing. However, at the time of going to press, Masoka had not responded to the questions.

Source : Zimbabwe Standard