Gvt in fresh run-in with trade unions after another hold-up in Harare

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By Alois Vinga

ZIMBABWE Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has expressed disgust over the continuous harassment of visiting international labour leaders.

This comes less than a month after government harassed and detained International Trade Union Confederation’s Africa secretary general, Ghanaian Kwasi Adu Amankwah who was in the country on a fact finding mission following the violent protests in January that left 17 people dead.

ZCTU secretary general Japhet Moyo described the manner in which visiting Southern Africa Trade Union Co-ordination Council (SATUCC) delegation were interrogated upon their arrival in Harare on Monday as “appalling”.

“The ZCTU is appalled by the interrogation of the visiting SATUCC delegation by State security agents upon arrival at the Robert Mugabe International airport on Monday.

“The delegation which is in the country on a solidarity visit was subjected to serious interrogation by six State agents who demanded details and the purpose of their visit, where they would be staying, whom they were going to meet as well as issues to be discussed,” Moyo said in a statement.

The ZCTU leader said SATUCC executive secretary Austin Muneku and executive council member, Mahoronga Kavihuha had felt harassed and intimidated.

Last month government was forced to reverse a plan to deport Amankwah after dragging him out of his hotel room in central Harare, held him incommunicado for hours before releasing the trade unionist without charge.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government according to Moyo had shown unbridled intolerance for labour leader.

“The latest action is a clear indication of government’s intolerance to trade unionism and that it is running scared of scrutiny.

“Maltreatment of trade unionists continues to manifests in the so called second republic and there are no indications towards reforming,” he said.

Moyo added that government needs to respect the role of trade unions as key social partners in economic development.