April 29 2005

Police action against trade unions preparing for May 1

The ZRP stormed into a ZCTU May Day preparatory meeting on 27 April 2005 at Helenic Club in Mutare and called off the meeting before arresting five Regional Council members and one member of the ZCTU General Council. The Police were alleging that the meeting contravenes the provisions of the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) which gives Police the powers to sanction public meetings. Trade Unions are exempted from seeking clearance form Police.
The ZCTU leaders were arrested at around 5:30 pm and later released at 8:00pm but were later invited bach to the Polive station this morning. They are still at the Police station awaiting further interogation about the meeting. Their names are Eliah Mwandipe Regional Chairperson, Tambaoga Nyazika Regional Officer, Hilarious Ruyi General; Council member, Steven Chandakapata, Medicine Muringisi, Superior Boka who are all activists.
Meanwhile another six ZCTU activists including Nathan Banda, the ZCTU Health and Safety Coordinator were also arrested this morning (Thursday 28) for taking part in an international Health and Safety day march which was organised by the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) to commemorate international health and safety day.
As social partners, the ZCTU was invited to take part in the procession but police are questioning the involvement of the labour body in the procession. At this moment in time the ZCTU activist are still under arrest while the NSSA officials are negotiating with thge police. The police also proceeded to stop the procession because of the ZCTU's participation.
The six are Elijah Mutemeri, Vmbai Mushongera, Nathan Banda, Nyikadzino Madzonga, and two activists from Bindura Nickel Mine who are Health and Safety Shopstewards. The ZCTU strongly deplores this action by the police and views it as a violation of human and Trade Union rights especiall the infringement of the the freedom of association and assembly. (ZCTU, Harare)

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