Violence against labour leaders during Presidential Run-Off Elections on the increase


The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has learnt with dismay the harassment of labour leaders during the Presidential Run Off by ruling party militia, supporters and State security agents. The current information we have is:

1. The ZCTU district chairperson for Chivhu, Tinashe Murau, was seriously beaten up by Zanu PF militia just before the 27 June Presidential Runoff and has had his hand broken and is currently seeking medical attention. He was beaten after the militia questioned why he wears ZCTU t-shirts and attends ZCTU meetings.

2. Forty-six (46) members of the General Agriculture Plantation Workers Union of Zimbabwe (GAPWUZ), an affiliate of the ZCTU, have sought shelter in Harare after being harassed and beaten up by youth militia. The members include men, women and children. The ZCTU and GAPWUZ are currently providing them with food. Indications are that more farm workers will be displaced.

3. The Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ), also an affiliate of the ZCTU, has closed its office after its officials have been harassed by unknown people since the start of the Presidential Run Off. Two cars (registration Numbers ABD8989 and AAC5574) visited PTUZ general secretary, Raymond Majongwe, but fortunately he was not at his home. At the same time, other cars with unknown people visited the PTUZ treasurer's wife claiming that they wanted to take her for a funeral.

4. A ZCTU councilor, Rebecca Butau, based in Chegutu was also seriously beaten and had to seek medical attention. Those who beat her-up said they were looking for David Zunde, another union official from the food industry. Currently Zunde is on the run.

The ZCTU expects and influx of its members as they face retribution from ruling party militia and youths. We deplore in the strongest terms what appears to be the targeting of ZCTU officials and union members.

As per General Council Communiqué of 21 June 2008 which among other things, called on the government to stop violence against innocent citizens, and noting that none of the ZCTU demands were met, the ZCTU declares that the elections were neither free no fair.