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  • 2002 Presidential & Harare Municipal elections - Index of articles

  • Stayaway March 20 - 22, 2002
    Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU)
    March 19, 2002

    The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions ( ZCTU ) would like to reemphasize that the general workforce in Zimbabwe are naturally disappointed about what happened on the 14th of March where the General Council meeting was disrupted by the police. This is despite past experience when the General Council held its meetings without the interference of the police in line with the principles of freedom of association enshrined in various international human rights instruments to which Zimbabwe is signatory. These instruments include The UN Declaration of Human Rights, The UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, The UN International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, The African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights and the International Labour Organisation Conventions on Freedom of Association and the Right to organise. It is therefore disturbing that the state would now want to be part and parcel of ZCTU meetings, which is a serious breach of the ZCTU's freedom to hold its meetings.

    The state argued that the meeting was a political one and that it was therefore illegal. This was purportedly in terms of the notorious Public Order and Security Act [ Chapter 11: 17] (POSA).
    In light of the above, The ZCTU categorically denounces the use of  draconian legislation to
    interfere with the running of affairs of trade unions in this country, especially following the announcement by government that they are going to derecognise the ZCTU.

    The ZCTU is determined to make sure that the workers interests in these difficult times are taken care of regardless of the intimidation and state interference. Meanwhile, the ZCTU's national and international partners are being briefed on these latest developments

    It has also come to the attention of the ZCTU that workers are being unnecessarily beaten and harassed by state agents, a development which the ZCTU strongly condemns.

    The ZCTU therefore calls on all workers to stayaway from their workplaces on Wednesday the 20th to Friday the 22nd March, 2002 in protest against

    1. the state's disregard for trade union freedoms.
    2. an attempt by the state to weaken the ZCTU and therefore expose the workers to unchallenged victimization.
    3. the harassment, beatings and displacement workers are experiencing in the aftermath of the Presidential elections.
    4. general lawlessness which will actually influence company closures and loss of jobs

    Wellington Chibebe
    ZCTU Secretary-General

    Visit the ZCTU fact sheet

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