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MDC condemns harassment and arrests of civic leaders, journalists
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
December 03, 2008

The police in Harare today arrested the ZCTU deputy secretary-general Japhet Moyo, Progressive Teachers' Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) secretary-general Raymond Majongwe, South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) correspondent John Nyashanu and several members of the ZCTU general council as security agents violently moved in to quell the labour union's national protest against the inadequate cash withdrawals from the banks.

The MDC condemns Zanu PF's terror tactics. We believe that the workers' rights are inviolable and inalienable and any democratic authority should allow workers to exercise their constitutional rights of assembly and movement. We believe that the ZCTU's peaceful protest was justified as the people cannot survive on the $500 000 daily maximum withdrawal limit.

The cash shortages and high inflation signify the general collapse of all sectors in the country due to misgovernance, corruption and patronage. The Global Political Agreement (GPA) signed between the three major political parties guarantees the basic freedoms and rights of people to express themselves.

The latest acts of thuggery are a clear indication that there is no paradigm shift on the part of Zanu PF to act in accordance with the GPA. Zanu PF remains the undemocratic party of terror and thuggery. It remains the epicenter of repression of the people's basic rights and freedoms. It remains the haven and sanatorium of an unstinting instinct that believes that the solution to all problems lies in violence and repression. Zanu PF's actions on the ground undermine their commitment on paper. The practicalities on the ground basically show that the leopard has not changed its spots.

In the new Zimbabwe that we envision, never again should a government violently clamp down on innocent people for expressing themselves. Never again will a police force be allowed to beat up citizens for demanding a daily withdrawal limit that will enable them to provide food and other basic service to their families. Never again should a people run away from their own police force whose duty is to offer protection and professional service. That New Zimbabwe is our vision.

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