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Strikes and Protests 2007- Save Zimbabwe Campaign
condemns MDC arrests
Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU)
March 12, 2007
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of South African Trade Unions deplores the fatal shooting by Zimbabwe
riot police of a supporter of the Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) at a prayer rally in Harare's Highfield township on Sunday
strongly condemns the arrest of Arthur Mutambara and Morgan Tsvangirai,
the leaders of the two factions of the MDC, and several of their
senior officials, and of Lovemore Madhuku, the chairman of the National
Constitutional Assembly. Riot police reportedly snatched them
from their cars on their way to address the rally to oppose President
Robert Mugabe's plans to extend presidential elections and protest
against continued harassment of opposition leaders.
We demand the
immediate and unconditional release of all those arrested, and echo
the view of the secretary general of the Mutambara-led faction,
Professor Welshman Ncube, that "this action by the police typifies
the rogue nature of the regime and the complete disregard for the
rule of law and respect for civil liberties."
We welcome his
statement that "the decision to arrest our leaders will only
serve to strengthen our resolve in the demand for a new democratic
dispensation. We will not be deterred by Zanu PF machinations of
stripping the people of their inalienable rights."
the unity displayed by the two MDC factions on Sunday, who, for
the first time, appeared in a public event together, and hopes that
this heralds the emergence of the broadest possible mass movement
in support of democracy and human rights in Zimbabwe.
COSATU has already
pledged solidarity action in South Africa in support of the Zimbabwe
Congress of Trade Unions, who plan a general strike on 3-4 April,
to protest against 'slavery wages', against a backdrop of an economic
catastrophe and ever more vicious attacks on human rights. We warn
the Mugabe government not to try to repeat the kind of pre-emptive
arrests used yesterday.
recognises the heroic role played by the Zimbabwe government and
people in the liberation of South Africa, and President Mugabe's
willingness to confront the hypocrisy and aggression of the US government,
that does not mean that the federation will close its eyes when
his government tramples on workers' and human rights.
Craven (National Spokesperson)
Congress of South African Trade Unions
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