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Zimbabwe Police Refuse to Sanction Planned ZCTU Anti-Bond Notes Protests

A rioter wearing a police helmet taken from a police officer joins angry protestors in Harare, Monday, July, 4, 2016. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

Zimbabwean police have declined to grant the country’s largest labor movement, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), permission to stage nationwide protests against bond notes introduced on Monday.

ZCTU secretary general, Japhet Moyo, said police informed them that the organization has nothing to do with the bond notes, which the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe claims are designed to boost the country’s exports.

The ZCTU wrote a letter to the Zimbabwe Republic Police recently seeking to stage a peaceful march Friday in the country against the bond notes, widely viewed by some Zimbabweans as an attempt by the government to re-introduce the moribund local dollar that was abandoned in 2009 due to historic hyperinflation.

“We have received a letter from the police (informing us) that the bond notes have nothing to do with trade unions and therefore we cannot demonstrate against bond notes. It’s something that we are currently debating on how to respond to this ignorance by the police.”

Moyo said the ZCTU may end up seeking legal action to force the police to grant them permission to stage the protests.

The law requires organizations planning to hold public meetings to inform the police. Several organizations, which include the opposition MDC led by Morgan Tsvangirai and protest group, Tajamuka-Sesijikile Campaign, are expected to stage a protest over the introduction of bond notes on Wednesday.

Responding to the planned protests, Zanu PF lawmaker, Joseph Tshuma, told Studio 7 that these groups are sponsored by the West to effect regime change in Zimbabwe.

“It’s expected from imperialists with a regime change agenda who will not want to see Zimbabweans at peace at all. For people mobilizing others to demonstrate against bond notes, it’s surprising because we have been using bond coins all along which have helped us to ease problems of change. Why mobilize people now to protest against bond notes? You have a regime change agenda.”

He dismissed their claims that the bond notes, being introduced at a time Zimbabwe is facing serious cash shortages, will devastate the fragile local economy.