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  • Strikes and Protests 2007- Save Zimbabwe Campaign

  • Continued attacks on the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union
    Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)
    March 14, 2007

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    Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) condemns the continued harassment of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) and assault of its staff by police officers from the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP). ZLHR is aware that on Tuesday 13 March 2007 seven members of ZRP based at Harare Central Police Station, CID Law & Order Division, led by Assistant Inspector Chimimba attended at the offices of ZCTU at around 0930hrs with a search warrant allowing them to search for and seize all "subversive materials" found on the premises. Two lawyers from ZLHR attended at the ZCTU offices and found the ZRP officers going through the offices of the ZCTU, having detained ZCTU staff and visitors inside the offices. Four boxes containing some ZCTU fliers had already been seized.

    The seized flier highlighted that workers were being subjected to a minimum wage of Z$90 000 per month compared to the astronomical poverty datum line of Z$668 000. The flier further highlighted the non availability and inaccessibility of anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs) for workers, yet monthly state imposed AIDS Levy contributions are deducted from workers. ZCTU, in its capacity as a legitimate and legal body representing workers, called for a "STAY AT HOME" action, from 3 April to 4 April 2007. ZLHR believes that it is the right and indeed duty of the ZCTU to represent the concerns of its members, the workers, and help express such concerns in a peaceful manner, including stay-aways. For such a right to be violated, restricted, frustrated and undermined by wide and vague laws allowing for the State to unilaterally seize and view fliers as "subversive materials" is not reasonably justifiable in a democracy. ZLHR would like to further condemn the assault of ZCTU Officers Gilbert Marembo and Michael Kandukuti by police officers led by Assistant Inspector Chimimba, with open palms across their faces. When ZLHR questioned the two ZCTU staff about the assault, they were threatened with home visits by the police to warn them not to "show off" in front of their lawyers.

    ZLHR strongly condemns this unwarranted seizure of ZCTU property, the act of impunity by police officers in assaulting ZCTU and subsequently threatening them in front of their lawyers. This incident comes days after the grievous and life threatening assault of the Save Zimbabwe Campaign Leadership on Sunday 11 March 2007. ZLHR hereby calls upon the government of Zimbabwe and the various law enforcement agents to respect fundamental human rights or risk legal; national and international actions in their institutional and individual capacities.

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