COSATU condemns attack on Zimbabwe union
Date of publication: June 11, 2008
The Congress of South African Trade Unions strongly condemns the attack on offices belonging to the Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ), an affiliate of the ZCTU, on 9 June 2008 in Gokwe.
Zanu PF supporters and ‘war veterans’ stormed into the union’s offices and ordered the union to cease business. After ransacking the offices and taking undisclosed items, they locked the offices.
This followed beatings which started on Friday 6 June 2008 when a union member was abducted at Gokwe Centre and held captive for more than nine hours. Then on Saturday 7 June 2008 war veterans severely beat up PTUZ Gokwe full-time Coordinator, Moses Mhaka. They took away his identify document and other personal documents.
COSATU sends a message of support and solidarity to its fellow trade unionists and our best wishes to those who have been beaten for a full recovery.
These incidents are just the latest of hundreds of beatings, murders and abductions carried out by the state and ZANU-PF supporters against anyone they believe supports the opposition parties. Party rallies have been blocked, leaders of both factions of the MDC and even diplomats have been arrested; food aid to suspected opposition voters has been withheld or only given in exchange for people’s voting cards.
All this proves conclusively that there is no way the run-off presidential elections on 27 June 2008 will be free and fair. We are seeing a brutal and systematic onslaught from a regime that is determined to cling to power by stealing the elections and imposing its will through violence.
COSATU demands that the governments of SADC and the AU immediately dispatch election observers to Zimbabwe, in much greater numbers than in March. They must monitor not just the voting and counting but the violence and intimidation that preceded the election.
The ‘government’ of Robert Mugabe has been illegitimate since its term of office expired after the 29 March elections. We demand that the governments of Africa refuse to recognise this illegal despot who is desperately hanging on to power, and to stop inviting him to meetings of the SADC or AU.
The will of the people must be sovereign!