|October 3, 2005
Austrian protest against victimisation of High School teacher
The Austrian Trade Union Federation (OeGB), in a letter addressed to Zimbabwe’s Ambassador in Austria Mrs Grace T. Mutandiro, has expressed serious concern about the victimisation of Mr. Harry Taruva, an English Teacher at Mambo High School in Gweru and member of the Progressive Teachers Union (PTUZ), by two men who claimed to be central intelligence operatives on 20 September 2005.
According to information obtained the teacher was violently forced to enter a truck in full view of fellow teachers and students and brought to the Agritex offices, infamously known as "Chinyavada". Here, Mr. Taruva was interrogated and subsequently tortured for a number of reasons among which are 1) teaching opposition politics to students, 2) belonging to the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe and 3) associating with people like Raymond Majongwe the General Secretary of PTUZ. Mr. Taruva alleges that he was physically assaulted for more than two hours and was forced to drink water from his shoes.
In the letter, OeGB Executive Secretary Roswitha Bachner points out that Zimbabwe ratified Convention 98 (1998) and Convention 87 (2003) and is therefore obliged to ensure that trade unionists are allowed to exercise their legitimate rights without interference. Workers must at all times feel secure when discharging their duties.