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ZCTU on repression of union protests in Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU)
October 09, 2003

In Harare, of the 41 leaders and activists who were arrested yesterday, 21 had no option but to pay admission of guilt fines of Z$5000 00 dollars and were released while the remaining 20 including the ZCTU Leaders, President Lovemore Matombo, Vice President Lucia Matibenga and Secretary General, Wellington Chibebe and other affiliated union leaders refused to pay the fine as they felt that they were not guilty of any crime. However, everybody was released yesterday at 10:00pm but the 20 were invited again to the Police station at 10:00 am. As I write right now the leaders are at the Police station and they are likely to be taken to court and the Police are trying to press some new charges against them.

The protest in Bulawayo turned out to be very violent as people were attacked by the riot police. Three members of the ZCTU were arrested and blind folded by the Police and taken to Nyamayendlovu, 40 kilometres from Bulawayo were they were beaten and left for dead. It was fortunate that one of them had a cell phone and managed to phone back to Bulawayo where some transport was arranged to pick them up. The three include Samuel Khumalo the ZCTU in district member who was injured in the process and had to have 12 stitches on his head. The three are set to appear in court today at 11:00 am
Other leaders were picked up from their houses one by one and detained at the police station but were later released without being charged.

On Tuesday, during a preparatory meeting, police details raided the ZCTU offices in Gweru and arrested the Chairman Mr. Peter Munyukwi and five other people who were detained over night. Later on during the protest Mr. Munyukwi was assaulted but no further arrests were made. The ZCTU officials were warned against holding meetings of demonstrations without police permission.

Police confisticated material which included, placards, banners and t-shirts meant for the protest early Tuesday morning. 105 people were arrested during the Protest but paid admission of guilt fines under the Public Order and Security Act (POSA).

The activists were all detained in an open fence during the whole day and were only released at 8:00 pm

There were also some arrests in Masvingo and Chinhoyi and the ZCTU lawyers are still working on them.

The ZCTU would like to take this opportunity to thank all the organisations who have given us solidarity messages during this time and we promise you that your encouragement will spur us on to fight even harder for the respect of human and Trade Union rights in Zimbabwe and also force the Zimbabwean government to solve the crisis the country is in at the moment.

Visit the ZCTU fact sheet

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