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End harassment, intimidation, abduction and torture of civil and political activists: ITUC-Africa

ITUC-Africa

The African Regional Organisation of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC-Africa www.ituc-africa.org) to which the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) is affiliated, has expressed its deep concern about the growing acts of intimidation and the use of death threats against the leadership of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU).

This follows reports that Peter Mutasa and Japhet Moyo, President and General Secretary respectively of the ZCTU, were sent death threat letters wrapped around live bullets a few weeks ago. Again on the 15th of August 2019, it was reported that the two leaders were sent SMS messages threatening them with death if they attended a rally being called by one of the political parties in the country.

The ITUC-Africa said the 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 activists in 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.

These worrisome actions are causing serious concern for African workers and friends of Zimbabwe, more so since the Zimbabwean Republican Constitution unambiguously provides for the spaces for citizens to enjoy their civil liberties, including the right to the freedom of expression, of association, of assembly and of dissent. Sadly, these civil liberty spaces are shrinking on account of the distressing actions referred to,”ITUC-Africa said in a statement.

ITUC-Africa has called on President Mnangagwa 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. On its part, ITUC-Africa will continue to monitor and report on the situation in the hope that government takes action to improve civil liberties in Zimbabwe,” Kwasi Adu-Amankwah, the ITUC-Africa General Secretary said.

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Byron Adonis Mutingwende