The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) notes with concern and alarm the continued clamp down and arbitrary arrest of civic leaders and opposition Members of Parliament in the aftermath of the14-16 January 2019 stayaway called by labour to protest escalating prices.
It is clear to the ZCTU that state security agents have been pouncing on opposition Members of Parliament, Civil Society and Trade Union leaders at the instigation of President Emmerson Mnangagwa after he was quoted at a “Thank You Rally” that “we will sort them out”. Such words are unacceptable coming from the Head of State who is supposed to be a unifier.
Most of those arrested are facing charges of plotting to overthrow the government. The ZCTU is worried that this ‘New Dispensation” has become more dangerous than the notorious racist Rhodesian regime of Ian Smith. It has become too paranoid that it is even afraid of its own shadows.
We strongly condemn the state action that is contrary to the Constitution of Zimbabwe that guarantees freedom of expression. The ZCTU demands an environment conducive for freedom of expression and where every Zimbabwean can discharge his or her duties without fear of being arrested. We also demand that the government addresses issues that led to the 14 January 2019 Stayaway.
We remain committed to fight for the rights to freedom of assembly, expression as well as fight against poverty under whatever circumstances and conditions..