Industrial Democracy in Zimbabwe

Industrial democracy has its beginnings in the theories of Kurt Lewin who strongly advocated the thought that the direction of alteration requires full engagement from those affected by alteration ( Sambureni 2001 ) . Sambureni farther defines industrial democracy as ‘a procedure in which employees either straight or indirectly through their representatives. portion equal power over the decision-making procedure which direction usually militias to itself’ . Industrial democracy is besides defined as ‘an agreement which involves workers doing determinations. sharing duty and authorization in the workplace ( World Wide Web. wikipedia. org ) . As can be deduced from the above definitions. the indispensable characteristic of industrial democracy is that it gives employees or their representatives a portion in the procedure of direction. It is against this background that this essay will analyze the position that ‘there is industrial democracy in Zimbabwe’ utilizing practical illustrations from Zimbabwean endeavors.

Since the colonist business in 1890. in the hierarchal order of Rhodesia. the Black stood at the lowest degree. As an African. one was subjected to the overall system of favoritism. as a worker. one was besides a victim of particularregulations which prior to the Industrial Conciliation Act of 1959. prevented African workers from take parting in the finding of their conditions of service by excepting them from the definition of ‘employee’ ( Maphosa. 1991 ) . The colonialists promulgated Torahs that repressed and suppressed workers. most notably. the Maestro and Servants Act. hence. the absence of industrial democracy. Upon attainment of independency. the authorities of Zimbabwe enforced policies to turn to the racial imbalancesthat were created by the colonial disposal in footings of industrial dealingss to advance industrial democracy in workplaces.

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Sachikonye ( 1985 ) propounds that the being of a Labour Courtin Zimbabwe is clear testimony of the presence of industrial democracy in Zimbabwe. It is an appeal tribunal for a assortment of labour differences. The Labour Courtprotects workers’ rights to the extent where some authors claim that workers in Zimbabwe are ‘over-protected’ by the jurisprudence. This claim is supported by assorted instances. one of which is the instance where Air Zimbabwe Senior Managers relieved of their responsibilities in 2009 and took up their affair tothe Labour Court were awarded one hundred 1000 United States dollars exit bundles for each director. This is industrial democracy at its best though some critics may happen it excessively harsh a opinion on the portion of the employer who might confront fiscal challenges caused by the unexpected disbursal and leaves the employer with no right to disregard employees as the discharged employees will appeal through the labor tribunal which ever regulations against the employer. However. an International LabourOrganisation ( ILO ) audit carried out by Lovemore Madhukunotes that awards and opinions by the Labour Court are non instantly enforceable as they have to be registered with the High Court. Some reformers have suggested that the Labour Court should be made the tribunal of concluding entreaty in all labour affairs and be empowered to implement its ain determinations. The audit besides notes that there are no clip limits prescribed for doing opinions. This was contrasted with other states where clip bounds. the most common being 30 and 90 yearss are stipulated. In this instance. justness delayed is justice denied thereby go againsting the rules of industrial democracy.

Harmonizing to the Constitution of Zimbabwe ( 2013 ) . except for members of the Security Services. every individual in Zimbabwe has the right to organize and fall in Trade Unions and employee and employers’ administrations of their pick and to take part in the lawful activities of those brotherhoods and activities. The right to organize or fall in or take part in the activities of a trade brotherhood is protected by both the Constitution of Zimbabwe and the Labour Relations Act ( Madhuku. 2009 ) . This supports the position that there is industrial democracy in Zimbabwe as it gives employee or employer administrations the right to prosecute in corporate bargaining. organise and signifier and articulation federations of such brotherhoods and administrations. Examples of Trade brotherhoods in Zimbabwe include Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions ( ZCTU ) which is the dominant cardinal Trade Union in Zimbabwe. the Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association ( ZIMTA ) the largest and most influential Teachers’ administration and the Zimbabwe Federation of Trade Unions ( ZFTU ) made up of professionals in labour direction. differences and tribunal colonies among others.

It is noteworthy to advert though that in pattern. members of independent trade Union administrations face torment and bullying from authoritiesforces and it is highly hard for them to transport out any Trade Union activities. Although the High Court ruled in April 2002 that the ZCTU does non necessitate permission from the constabulary to keep private meetings. the constabulary have continued to interfere with its meetings. for illustration. on January 10 2006. armed constabularies raided ZCTU offices impounding computing machine phonograph record and files and the authorities claimed to hold launched an probe into allegations of fiscal misdirection by trade brotherhood leaders but ZCTU President Lovemore Matombo said it was a political move to hush the brotherhood by discrediting its leading. hence. go againsting the moralss of industrial democracy.

The passage of the Labour Relations Act of 1985 in Zimbabwe bears witness to the presence of industrial democracy. The Act. harmonizing to Sambureni ( 2001 ) created a model for the exercising of cardinal rights of workers that include expiration of employment. retrenchment. challenge colony procedure and HIV and AIDS ordinances. unjust labour patterns. lower limit and maximal rewards. creates a model for corporate bargaining as a beginning of footings and conditions of employment and besides vests the difference managing powers with the Ministry of Labour to cover with work-related differences through mediation. conciliation and arbitration. In this instance. nevertheless. one can reason that province intercession in the signifier of legislated minimal rewards or maximal wages has in portion contributed to ineffective worker engagement in managerial determination devising. In some sectors. for illustration the Apex Council of Public Sector Unions. the Public Service ministry set parametric quantities within which salary additions can be negotiated. Such parametric quantities constitute bounds to the nature and extent of both direction decision-making and workers engagement in it. and therefore. limits the values of industrial democracy.

Another index by the authorities of Zimbabwe to advance industrial democracy is the right of workers to be represented at a disciplinary hearing. which is a cardinal rule of natural justness ( Kanyenze. 2001 ) . Section ( 4 ) ( B ) of Statutory Instrument 15 of 2006 entitles an employee looking before the employer or disciplinary authorization to be represented by either a fellow employee. Workers’ Committee member. TradeUnion functionary or Legal Practitioner. All company codifications of behavior and National Employment Council codes in Zimbabwe provide for the right to representation in their processs. In the instance of Vice Chancellor. University of Zimbabwe vsMutasa ( 1993 ) which involved the ejection of three pupils from the University of Zimbabwe. the issue of legal representation was dealt with. However. in Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe ( MMCZ ) V John Mazvimavi ( SC295/95 ) . former Justice Anthony Gubbay left the right to legal representation as an unfastened inquiry as the labour Tribunal had ruled that MMCZs refusal to allow John Mazvimavi to be lawfully represented amounted to a misdemeanor of the rules on natural justness and the chief beliefs of industrial democracy. As respects favoritism. the Labour Relations Act of Zimbabwe stipulates that no employer or individual shall know apart against any employee or prospective employee on evidences of race. folk. topographic point of beginning. political sentiment. coloring material. credo or sex in relation to the advertizement of employment. enlisting for employment. creative activity or abolishment of occupations. the pick of individuals for occupations or stations. developing promotion. apprenticeships. transportation. publicity or retrenchment and any other affair related to employment. This clearly confirms the position that there is industrial democracy in Zimbabwe. However. instances of favoritism on evidences of one’s HIV position still exist in the Army. Health sector and the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe were employees are expected to undergo HIV trials sporadically and these have a bearing on the on the job conditions of the employee. If the employee is found to be HIV positive. so some of their responsibilities and duties may be scrapped off their occupation description.

It has been stated by a taking labour attorney that. ‘There can be no equilibrium in industrial dealingss without a freedom to strike’ ( Madhuku. 2009 ) . In protecting that freedom. the jurisprudence protects the legitimate outlooks of workers that they can do usage of their corporate power. The new Zimbabwe fundamental law has a measure of rights that gives unconditioned rights to strike by employees. The right to strike can non be separated from corporate bargaining as work stoppages are merely justifiable for intents of keeping equilibrium in labour dealingss. that is. for corporate bargaining intents. In this respect. one can safely state that there isindustrial democracy in Zimbabwe. However. although the Labour Relations Act recognises the right to strike. there are many procedural hurdlings. including the fact that more than 50 per centum of the employees must vote for a work stoppage. followed by a 30 twenty-four hours conciliation period and possible referral to adhering arbitration and so a 14 twenty-four hours progress notice period ( Kanyenze. 2011 ) . The sum consequence of these detaining tactics is that it is practically impossible to organize a legal work stoppage. In Zimbabwe Teachers Association and Others vs Minister of Education and Culture. government’s purported dismissal of striking instructors who had defied its orders to return to work was held by the High Court to be improper as the discharged Teachers had non been given an chance to be heard.

In decision. the essay has highlighted some grounds of industrial democracy in Zimbabwean endeavors. though the instances are non thorough as issues to make with amendments to the new fundamental law. National Employment Council and notice of hearing within 48 hours have non been discussed. The essay has besides highlighted some instances where industrial democracy is compromised. for illustration issues to make with the right to strike and finding of minimal rewards. One can therefore conclude that industrial democracy partly exists in Zimbabwe.


Kanyenze. G. ( 2011 ) Beyond the enclave: Towards a pro-poor and inclusive development scheme for Zimbabwe. African Books Collective Madhuku. L. and Sambureni. N. T. . Labour Law ( Zimbabwe Open University Module Maphosa. G. J. . ( 1991 ) Industrial democracy in Zimbabwe? Zambezia Sachikonye. L. M. . ( 1985 ) Labour Legislation in Zimbabwe: Historical and Contemporary Positions Sambureni. N. T. ( 2001 ) Industrial and Labour Relations

World Wide Web. wikipedia. org

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Industrial Democracy in Zimbabwe. (2017, Sep 26). Retrieved from