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2002 Presidential & Harare Municipal elections - Index of articles
from around the world for the release of kidnapped trade unionist
The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU)
Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), representing some 157
million union members worldwide, is extremely concerned at the abduction
of the President of the Zimbabwe Civil Service Employees Association,
Ephraim Tapa, and his wife Faith Mukwakwa, who have been detained
by “war veterans” since 16th of February.
According to our information received, a group of “war veterans”
intercepted the vehicle they were travelling in on their return
from the ZCTU’s All Stakeholder meeting, which had been held in
Harare earlier on that day. Mr. Tapa’s two brothers who were travelling
with him managed to escape, although one was shot in the arm.
We have been informed that the ZCTU has written to July Moyo, the
Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, requesting him to urge his
colleagues to find the whereabouts of Brother Tapa. The abduction
was also reported to the police but so far no serious investigation
has been carried out. We have also been informed that Brother Tapa
and his wife are still alive but are being held in a secret place
by the “veterans”. This makes us fear for their personal safety,
since both Brother Tapa and his wife suffer from hypertension and
consequently need regular access to medical treatment.
May I stress that the ICFTU vigorously condemns this abduction,
which is clearly related to the violence surrounding the forthcoming
elections. We support the call of our affiliate, the ZCTU, to disband
the militias, which are spreading terror and brutality throughout
the country. The locations of the militia camps are well known to
the authorities but no attempt has been made to close them.
I therefore urge you to take all the necessary steps to ensure that
your administration releases Mr. and Mrs. Tapa as a matter of utmost
urgency and guarantees their safety as well as that of all other
citizens. We also ask you will have halted all “state sponsored
terrorism” in the run-up to the presidential elections of 9th and
10th March and end the impunity enjoyed by the perpetrators of such
violence. We further request you to promote the “code of good conduct”
agreed on 4th of March between the parties competing in the forthcoming
Lastly, I strongly disapprove of the recent threat in your electoral
campaign to deregister the ZCTU. This would be an attack against
the democratic right of trade unions to organise their activities
freely and would therefore further damage the image of your country.
I would also like to draw your attention to the fact that the ICFTU
has written to the ILO Director-General, Juan Somavia, to request
his personal intervention to ensure the release of Mr. and Mrs.
Tapa. Furthermore, the ICFTU will not hesitate to mobilise its solidarity
network if such serious violations against Zimbabwean trade unionism
Association of Letter Carriers (AFL-CIO) - Massachusetts USA
Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) - Australia
Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) - USA
- Indian Managerial
and Professional Employees Centre(IMPEC)
and Public Sector Union in Australia (former member)
- Unison members
at Kingston Hospital Surrey U.K.
Postal Workers Union, Miami Area Local, AFL-CIO
Paper & Media Union
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