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Zimbabwe Labor Union Defies Police Ban, Set to Stage Protest on Electronic Tax, Economic Decay

FILE: A rioter wearing a police helmet taken from a police officer joins angry protestors in Harare, Monday, July, 4, 2016.Police in Zimbabwe's capital fired tear gas and water cannons in an attempt to quell rioting by taxi and mini bus drivers protesting what they describe as police harassment.(AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) says it will defy a blanket police ban on public gatherings and stage what it calls a massive protest in the country’s towns and cities on Thursday to express its anger over a proposed hike in electronic money transfer tax and crippling price increases of basic commodities.

ZCTU secretary general Japhet Moyo says they expect thousands of people to participate in the protest as most workers are now struggling to make ends meet -- almost two months after President Emmerson Mnangagwa won a disputed presidential election.

Mnangagwa’s government wants to increase electronic money transfer tax currently pegged at 5 cents for every transaction to 2 cents per dollar for any transacted amount between $10 and $500,000.

The labor organization, which once organized such protests when former President Robert Mugabe was still in power, says this is too much for workers living from hand to mouth.

Moyo says the ZCTU is not scared for brutal police and army force that may be applied during the one-day protests.

ZCTU: We Are Staging Mass Action Over Proposed Money Transfer Tax, Economic Meltdown
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Zanu PF parliamentarian Dingumuzi Phuthi says the ZCTU should engage the government in better way than staging such protests.

He says the organization should have listened to police concerns that huge gatherings are likely to spread cholera, which has already claimed about 50 lives.

ZANU PF MP: ZCTU Protest 'Brainless'
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