State agents storm Harare hotel, drag out visiting trade union boss

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By Kingston Ndabatei

ZIMBABWEAN authorities Tuesday stormed a Harare hotel to drag out International Trade Union Confederation (ITU)-Africa secretary general Kwasi Adu Amankwa with signs he was being deported.

Amankwa arrived in the country in the early hours of Tuesday and checked into a local hotel with all his papers in order, according to Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) president Peter Mutasa.

But unbeknown to him and his Zimbabwean comrades, he was being tailed by State security agents.

“They literally dragged him out of his hotel room. Everything seemed in order because he has all his papers and we think there was an order to deport him from some higher authority,” Mutasa told Tuesday.

“It’s a sad development and only shows we have not moved an inch since the (former President Robert) Mugabe days…we are in trouble as human rights defenders and trade unionists.

“Our lawyer Obey Shava has thus far been denied access but we will continue to try.”

According to Mutasa, Amankwa was in the country to express solidarity with local trade unionists who were arrested last month and charged with subversion for allegedly organising the ill-fated protests.

The protests were followed by a brutal crackdown by the State, leaving 17 dead.