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    Saturday, 27 August 2016

    Police bars demo against Mahofa



    MORRIS BISHI
    CHIREDZI BUREAU

    CHIREDZI –
    Police in Chiredzi have barred Tongaat Hullet workers from holding a planned peaceful demonstration against the Minister of State for Masvingo, Shuvai Mahofa.
    Police said in response to the application made by workers that the demo was not approved. Instead the letter by the police urged the workers to exhaust all channels.
    The demo which was supposed to take place on Sunday last week was intended to appeal to Government to stop arbitrary acquisition of land from their employer Tongaat which is threatening 2 000 jobs.
    Adonia Mutero, the general secretary for Sugar Production and Milling Industry Workers Union of Zimbabwe (SPMWUZ) confirmed the development and added that a letter dated August 12 came from the officer commanding Chiredzi District, Chief Superintendent Knowledge Usayiwevu giving notice of the ban.
    He said that Police did not give them any good reason for the ban and his union was consulting on the next move to take. He said the case of land acquisition was of major concern to the workers.
    "Reference is made to your notice to hold a demonstration in the sugar milling industry against compulsory acquisition of land by government from Hippo Valley, Mkwasine, Mwenezana and Triangle Estates. Your demonstration has not been approved. You are advised to exhaust other channels concerning your grievances to the relevant authority," reads part of the letter.
     "We notified ZRP in accordance with the laws of this country but on Friday we received a letter barring us from going ahead with the demonstration. We were supposed to hold the demonstration on Sunday August 14, 2016.
    "Our concern as workers is that we are against job losses which will be caused by the planned acquisition of 4000 hectares from our employer. All we want is to air our concerns as workers. We have appealed to some Government Ministers and if that fail, we are approaching the High Court so that we get permission to express our views as enshrined in the supreme law of the land," said Mutero.
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