President Mnangagwa assents to TNF Bill

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PHILLIMON MHLANGA

President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday signed into law the Tripartite Negotiating Forum (TNF), which was created 20 years ago to promote social dialogue, poverty eradication, employment creation and initiate an economic turnaround.

Social dialogue in Zimbabwe was established in 1998 within the auspices of the TNF among the social partners-government, business and labour-with the intention to dialogue on social-economic issues. This, however, has been in existence as a voluntary platform.

The forum was premised on the principles of the International Labour Organisation Convention 144 on Tripartite Consultations, which Zimbabwe ratified in 1989.

In his address at the event, President Mnangagwa said he was happy that the feat had been achieved under his watch and congratulated the social partners for their commitment to the “realisation of this milestone achievement”.

“This is how it should be under the Second Republic, as we accelerate legislative reforms to hasten development and improve the quality of life of our people,” Mnangagwa said.

“As you may be aware, the TNF has been in existence for close to two decades championing dialogue on many issues affecting the socio-economic landscape of our country. However, the lack of a legal framework, political will and zeal to work together had negatively impacted the full potential of the forum.

“In keeping with our new culture of openness and dialogue, I am optimistic that the enactment of this TNF legislation will enable the emergence of a stronger and more responsive social dialogue platform capable of contributing to the speedy resuscitation of the economy.”

He called on the social partners to refine past initiatives and craft innovative strategies for the future, in the context of new realities.

Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare minister Sekai Nzenza echoed Mnangagwa sentiments saying the lack of a legal framework for the TNF undermined the full potential of the forum to contribute to sustainable social-economic development.

The TNF enables the parties to listen to each other, to compromises for common good and find joint solutions. This is a blue print as much as an agreement for national economic development. It recognises the good faith and trust with which the parties have come together. This is a historic opportunity to build on that platform of trust and
cooperation,” Nzenza said.