ED under fire over top union leader’s arrest

Source: ED under fire over top union leader's arrest | Daily News

HARARE – Top  world labour unions yesterday came out guns blazing against President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s regime over the arrest of International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) general-secretary for Africa Kwasi Adu-Amankwah.

Amankwah was picked up on Tuesday just after checking into a Harare hotel just after his arrival at the Robert Mugabe International Airport.

Africa’s foremost trade union leader was set to meet with leaders of Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), president Peter Mutasa and secretary-general Japhet Moyo who are out on bail after being arrested for calling for the January national stay-away against a 150 percent hike in fuel prices.

Mutasa and Moyo have both been granted $2 000 bail and are reporting three times a week to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) Law and Order.

They are facing charges of attempting to subvert a constitutionally-elected government.

Adu-Amankwa, a veteran Ghanaian trade unionist, was freed late on Tuesday after being held incommunicado since his morning arrest, and denied access to a lawyer.

He was held by the Department of Immigration at the airport and was later released after international pressure was brought to bear on Mnangagwa.

South Africa’s main trade union federation, Cosatu — part of an official, three-way governing alliance that also includes the African National Congress (ANC) and the Communist Party — said the behaviour of the Zimbabwe government was the utmost violation of the freedom of association and infringes on the overall rights and trade union rights.

“Cosatu condemns in the strongest terms the detention of the ITUC-Africa general-secretary, Comrade …Adu-Amankwah. We are not so surprised by this action of the security forces in Zimbabwe; we know too well it is in the DNA of the Zimbabwean regime to behave in this manner,” Cosatu said in a damning statement yesterday.

“The problems of Zimbabwe will never be resolved with the approach of the current Zimbabwe regime.

“This will serve to only worsen the situation. This strengthens the case that Zimbabwe remains a country at risk and must be treated as such. This behaviour violates not only human and trade union rights but international labour standards and laws.”

Cosatu said Mnangagwa “must stop interfering with trade unions as well as the persecution of trade union leaders and labelling of ZCTU a dissident organisation, and anyone associating with it an enemy of the regime.”

“… Kwasi must be allowed to finish his mission and we are all keen to hear the mission’s findings although it is clearer now. Sadc cannot be silent when obvious disregard for freedoms and rights are so blatantly clear. We challenge Sadc to intervene meaningfully with sustainable solutions in that country.”

Switzerland-based UNI Global Workers Union said the Zimbabwe government is not genuine about re-engagement.

“Labour is an important stakeholder and organ of civil society which always seeks to be part of the solution in difficult conditions.

“The arrest of the ITUC-Africa general-secretary brings into question how genuine the Zimbabwean government is about resolving the current impasse through dialogue.

“UNI Africa is calling upon the Zimbabwean government to do the right thing and to allow Kwasi to continue with his mission free from intimidation,” the union said.

The United States of America embassy in Harare wrote on its Twitter account that the arrest of civil society leaders further damage Zimbabwe’s image.

“Harassment and targeted arrests of civil society leaders damage Zimbabwe’s reputation & economic future.  We call on the Zimbabwean government to uphold its Constitution, protect human rights, and foster an environment where all can contribute to the nation’s progress.”

The Federation of Somali Unions (FESTU) strongly condemned the arrest of the top trade unionist.

“FESTU deplores the forceful nature in which the government of Zimbabwe is responding to the legitimate work and demands of trade unions.

“We reiterate our unequivocal condemnation of the systemic abuse of power and repression against leaders and members of the trade union movement led by the Zimbabwe Congress of trade Unions (ZCTU),” FESTU secretary-general Omar Faruk Osman said, adding the Zimbabwe government was declaring war against trade unions in Africa.


  • comment-avatar
    Cynical 2 years ago

    Don’t rely on Sadc to help. ED is part of Sadc Old Boys Club. They will support him come hell or high water.

  • comment-avatar
    Togarepi 2 years ago

    Surely Mr President why do you allow such things to happen. Honestly what you have achieved or intented to achieve by detaining the Unionist is far worse than the damaging of Zimbabwe reputation internationally. How can you allow such demonic things to happen at a crucial time when every Zimbabwean is trying to make Zimbabwe a new republic free from the mess which Mugabe has left us in. Do you honestly think that the Russians and Chinese you are trying to cling to will help Zimbabwe in any way. Were you young when Mugabe released his first album Look East’. We all danced to his lyrics but when the dust settled Mr President what really tangible did Zimbabweans get out of it. Are you also copying from your master’s song book and believe that the Chinese who dealt with Gushungo are different from the Chinese you are licking their fingers. We all know that academically and intellectually Gushungo is thousands of light years ahead of you but he failed with his look east lyrics. So what courage do you have to tread the road which the giants have walked and fall and still thinks that you will succeed. Mr President stubborness at times is foolishness. Its time to show the world that we have failed without the help of the West. Do the right thing here. Lead us to admit and find a way to reengage with the West. We will print all colors of money and give our currency all beautiful names but we will come to where we belong (zero). Kunonzi wani akonwa haasiyi bhachi padare. To save that little grain of hope which the people of Zimbabwe still have focus your energy to do the right things rather than spending sleepless night kufunga kusunga an innocent trade unionist. What do Zimbabweans gain from detaining innocent people. What will you say to people of Ghana and the whole world netsvina dzamuri kuita idzodzi. Who really is your advisor. Please if your brain is still thinking its high time to look for advisors from the opposition parties because they may tell you the truth of where you are getting lost. It seems the people who advise you are also sabotaging you. Ndanyara President. Whether you know it or not the issue of this trade unionist have now put a permanet black mask on your face and this goes with suffering of Zimbabweans. My question now is ‘Whats your rational for leading your people through a thorny painful path and at the same time claim to seek salvation to their suffering. I heard that you rigged elections but I just say they are jealousy of my him ,keep it up Mr Predident,time is comming when even your wife will vote against you. Who could ever guess that one day Gushungo and Gucci will wake up and que for hours to cast their vote for MDC. Even Makandiwa failed to see that day coming. Zvinozivikanwa naMwari chete. Mr President people are not yours they belong to God. Do whatever you do knowing that every game will have a final whistle and a winner will be declared.

  • comment-avatar
    Togarepi 2 years ago

    I wrote to you Mr President looking at the statue of Nelson Mandela in London. Was this great leader born in Africa. Why cant you take a moment and get just one lesson from the life of this great leader. Somebody told me that your name is about to appear in Guinness book of records for being the first President to kick start full campaigning for next elections exactly 2 days after declared a winner. Its not even necessary Sir. Do the right things everyone will follow. After all who will go against a President who is democratic and has vision. Paul Kgagame has no time to campaign but is focusing on uplifting the standards of living for his people. Our economy is collapsing simply because you are having sleepless nights thinking of campaigning. I think its also noble to accept failure as another way of campaigning. Intelligent people are fools who accept that they are fools in broad daylight.