The Apex Council’s pay demonstration that was held this Wednesday attracted very few attendees with Cecilia Alexander, president of the Civil Service Apex Council, saying that a heavy police presence at the protest’s venue had intimidated would-be protesters. She said:
We were not expecting the low turnout, but that can be attributed to the presence of these police tankers, police wielding batons, and their sheer numbers.
The police who came are the ones who normally just beat up people. We were expecting ordinary cops.
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Reports suggest that the police blocked demonstrators from going to the offices of to Labour Minister, Dr Sekai Nzenza and Finance Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube, saying only leaders of the union were eligible to go. Resultantly, the petitions were not delivered to the ministers.
There was confusion surrounding the march with other labour unions including the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe saying that the Apex Council’s modus operandi compelled them not to participate in the march.
PTUZ president, Dr Takavafira Zhou issued a statement on the 5th of November saying that the limited number (70) mentioned in the Apex Council’s letter to the police served to exclude a huge number of workers.