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Jobs seekers arrested
Unemployed People's Association (ZUPA)
April 10, 2013
We note with
sadness that 20 of our members in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe and 3 leaders
of the MYJR have been arrested
while they were on their way to look for jobs at a local Electricity
authority (ZESA) plant. This is a major setback in our work and
mandate to assist ordinary citizens to get jobs through devolution.
It is our current understanding
that the 23 have been offered bail of $50 each and to be back in
court on the 23rd April 2012. 22 remain in custody because they
are unemployed and they cannot afford the $50 needed to secure their
Just a few weeks
ago, the Government of Zimbabwe hailed the passing
of a new constitution by telling Zimbabweans that devolution
or power was included in the document. The arrests are therefore
a disturbing development given rumours that while local unemployed
residents were being arrested while on their way to seek jobs in
their area, ZESA in Bulawayo were in the process of employing hundreds
from other regions.
In the next
few days, we will remain seized with the issue and will do all we
can to seek justice. We appeal to the Zimbabwe Attorney General's
office to exercise its discretion and allow the unemployed job seekers
to be released. We believe that the use of POSA
to arrest a group of people on their way to look for jobs is unfortunate
and sets a bad precedence. This may give the impression to local
job seekers that they are not considered equal citizens in their
We are worried about
the locked up members who have no means to pay for legal representation
or bail. Those arrested include women and parents whose children
have been without care for two days. We appeal to anyone who may
have resources or may wish to assist to do so by calling those coordinating
assistance Tel: +44 (0)7765916573 or +263 (0) 713453181.
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