Talking tough : Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi

Police calls off ZCTU demo, cites Cholera scare

The Zimbabwe Republic Police has quashed an intended demonstration by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) citing a government ban on public gatherings due to the Cholera epidemic.

Moses Matenga

ZCTU has threatened a massive demonstration for Thursday in protest against Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube’s 2-cents-per-dollar tax announced last week.

“The Zimbabwe Republic Police wishes to advise members of the public that the directive by the Ministry of Health and Child Care and Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing to ban public gatherings in Central Business Districts and other public areas still stands,” ZRP spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said.

“Therefore the organisers of the intended demonstrations by the ZCTU and its affiliates should take note of the government’s directive particularly the movement of large numbers of people from one point to another which includes Cholera epicentres,” Nyathi said.

He said indications from the local authority and stakeholders were that, “Cholera outbreak is not yet over, particularly in Harare.”

Nyathi warned that if anything turns nasty, the organisers of the protest will be held responsible.

Ncube sparked widespread outrage after imposing a two percent tax on electronic money transfers in a bid to raise money for government.

The Minister however made a huge climb-down and last Friday reviewed the tax, capping it at $10 000 while transactions below $10 would be exempt.

ZCTU president Peter Mutasa was not immediately available for comment but is on record insisting the demonstrations will continue until government scraps the tax measure.-- 

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