The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions is appalled by the interrogation of the visiting Southern Africa Trade Union Co-ordination Council (SATUCC) delegation by state security agents upon arrival at the Robert Mugabe International airport yesterday.
The delegation which is in the country on a solidarity visit was subjected to serious interrogation by 6 state agents who demanded details on the purpose of their visit, where they would be staying, whom they were going to meet and issues to be discussed. SATUCC Executive Secretary Austin Muneku and Executive Council member Mahoronga Kavihuha felt harassed and intimidated with the actions of the state security apparatus.
The interrogation of the SATUCC delegation comes barely a month after the state reversed a deportation order against ITUC-Africa Secretary General Kwasi Adu Amankwah who was in the country on the same mission. Amankwah was dragged from his hotel, detained at the airport and was only allowed to proceed with his mission after the ZCTU had filed a high court application while trade unions the world were condemning the government action.
The latest action is clear indication of government’s intolerance to trade unionism and that it is running scared of scrutiny. Maltreatment of trade unionists continues to manifests in the so called second republic and there are no indications towards reforming. The SATUCC delegation’s visit to appreciate our operational environment was not supposed to be criminalised if the government had been sincere on its apology over Amankwa’s detention.
We call upon the government of Zimbabwe to desist from paying lip service towards respecting trade union and labour rights and start to diligently execute its role as a social partner.
Acting Secretary General