COSATU Castigates Zim Govt Over ITU Official Detention

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) has condemned the detention of International Trade Union Confederation- Africa General Secretary Kwasi Adu Amankwah by the Zimbabwe security forces upon his arrival in the country for scheduled meetings with leaders of their local affiliate, government and employers federation.

In a statement released this afternoon, COSATU National Spokesperson Sizwe Pamla demanded Amankwah’s immediate release saying he should be allowed to proceed with his scheduled meetings including the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU).

“The Congress of South African Trade Unions condemns in the strongest terms the detention of the ITUC-Africa General Secretary, Comrade Kwasi 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,” said Pamla.

The South African trade union said the detention of Amankwah will only worsen the situation in Zimbabwe adding that the behavior of the Zanu PF government violates international labour standards and laws.

“This behavior of the regime is the utmost violation of the freedom of association and infringes on the overall rights and trade union rights. 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,” added Pamla.

They further called on all international trade union movements to mobilse and support Amankwah charging that it cannot be business as usual when rights violations continue and worsen.

Pamla also called for the unconditional release of ZCTU leaders Japhet Moyo and Peter Mutasa who are currently out on bail after they were arrested and charged with treason for organising the January 14 stay away.

Kwasi Adu Amankwah who is part of a three-member ITUC delegation on a fact-finding mission following the recent developments that led to a serious clampdown on trade union leaders and activism in Zimbabwe, was scheduled to meet with the leadership of the ZCTU regarding those developments.

He was also expected to meet the Ministry of Labour officials, the International Labour Organisation and the Employers’ Confederation of Zimbabwe for an appreciation of the trade union and country’s developing situation.

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