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bars ZCTU from polls
The Herald (Zimbabwe)
March 16, 2005
GOVERNMENT has not
invited the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) to observe the March
31 parliamentary elections because the umbrella labour body is highly
partisan and political.
However, a total of 8 548 local observers from 29 non-partisan organisations
have been invited to observe the poll.
In a related matter, the Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc)
Observer Mission arrived in the country yesterday, joining other foreign
observer missions from the South African Government and Parliament.
The local observers were invited by the Ministry of Justice, Legal and
In a statement yesterday, Justice Minister Cde Patrick Chinamasa said
the observers were drawn from more than 29 non-partisan civic organisations.
"In extending invitations to observe the forthcoming general election,
a principle that I have had to observe is not to invite organisations
which already have biased and preconceived ideas about the outcome of
the elections to be held on March 31, 2005.
"On the basis of this principle, I have not invited the ZCTU to act as
observes. This is because the ZCTU is too partisan and too active a player
in the Zimbabwean politics to be trusted to act as an observer and to
make an objective assessment of the current processes leading up to the
31st March, 2005," Cde Chinamasa said.
The minister said the ZCTU had, over the years, acted in league with external
forces, in particular the British Government and Labour Party, causing
the imposition of sanctions against Zimbabwe.
"ZCTU’s secretary-general, Wellington Chibebe, has been a regular feature
at British Labour Party annual conferences and he has used that platform
to call for the imposition of sanctions against Zimbabwe, international
isolation of the country and the illegal removal of the legitimate Government,"
Cde Chinamasa added that the ZCTU has also worked hand in glove with the
Congress of South African Trade Unions in an attempt to effect a blockade
of Zimbabwe’s border with South Africa.
Notable organisations among those invited are the Zimbabwe Council of
Churches, Law Society of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Election Support Network,
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, Affirmative Action Group, Evangelical
Fellowship of Zimbabwe, Centre for Peace Initiatives in Southern Africa
and the Southern African Institute for Democracy and Good Governance.
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