The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions condemns the illegal and unwarranted state sanctioned detention of ITUC-Africa Secretary General Kwasi Adu Amankwah who is on a solidarity visit to ZCTU and other social partners to appreciate the trade union and country situation.
Harare authorities finally released the Cde Amankwah who was dragged from a local hotel yesterday and was detained for the greater part of the day at the airport. The cowardly act of deporting a trade union official on duty shows that the government only pays lip service to human and trade union liberties and is scared to be confronted with the truth. Cde Amankwah’s visit to appreciate our operational environment was not supposed to be criminalised if the government had nothing to hide. The was a clear indication of government’s suspicion of trade union activities, that it is now scared of workers and ordinary citizens and is prepared to invoke all means to block them from interaction.
The ZCTU notes with sadness and condemns the criminalisation of trade union work and the resurgence of tendencies of intolerance by government as it seeks to silence the voice of workers by all means. We regard this action by government as a serious attack on the right to belong to a union and freedom of movement. The ZCTU condemns the heavy handedness of the state in handling the legitimate work and demands of trade unions. Cde Amankwah’s detention by order of the state, following the arrest and detention of ZCTU leaders for calling for a stay-away is a continuation of the systematic abuse and repression of trade unionists by the Zimbabwe Government.
The ZCTU calls upon the government of Zimbabwe to respect workers’ rights and their social processes and urge it to prioritise dialogue over intimidation where there are discrepancies.