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ITUC-Africa confronts ED over growing human rights abuses

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By Alois Vinga

GLOBAL labour federation, the International Trade Union Confederation-Africa has written to President Emmerson Mnangagwa urging him and his administration to urgently investigate reports of death threats against the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) leaders.

A copy of the letter in our possession dated August 20, 2019 signed by ITUC-Africa general secretary, Kwasi Adu-Amankwah and addressed to President Mnangagwa expresses concern over the recent spate of human rights violations.

“The African regional organisation of the International Trade Union Confederation to which the ZCTU is affiliated, wishes to express its deep concern about the growing acts of intimidation and the use of death threats against Comrades Peter Mutasa and Japhet Moyo, president and general secretary respectively,” says the letter in part.

Amankwah said that the two had received death threats in the form of live bullets a few weeks ago and again on the 15th of August 2019.

Mutasa and Moyo have also received messages warning them against being part of opposition planned protests.

“These threats are too disturbing to ignore and come in the wake of growing reports of abduction and acts of torture unleashed on civil and political activism Zimbabwe. The pattern of these acts and their victims, from media reports and other information inside and outside Zimbabwe available to us, point to the troubling facts that persons considered as ‘political opponents and voices of dissent’ are the target and they continue to be targeted,” Amankwa added.

The ITUC-Africa boss said that the acts were causing serious concern for African workers and friends of Zimbabwe, moreso, given the country’s supreme law expressly provides for citizens to enjoy civil liberties, including the right to the freedom of expression and association. Amankwa called for speedy investigations.

“We call on Mr. President to cause the country’s security agencies to thoroughly and genuinely investigate these acts of abduction, torture and death threats and to bring the perpetrators to justice. We submit that the government of Zimbabwe has the duty to secure and provide tangible and assuring guarantees for the true enjoyment of the civil liberties that the country’s constitution has abundantly provided for,” the Ghanaian unionist said.