The Southern African Trade Union Coordination Council (SATUCC) representing 22 major federations in 14 of the 16 Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) member states with a combined membership of about 6 million working men and women, is utterly dismayed by the recent pronouncement by Zimbabwe’s ruling party ZANU-PF that the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZiCTU) is a terrorist organization.
On 28 July 2020, the ZANU-PF Acting Secretary of Information and Publicity, Patrick Chinamasa, addressed a press conference in which he communicated the classification of ZiCTU as a terrorist organisation. This follows an incident that happened on the evening of the 12 July 2020 when unknown assailants alleged to be state security agents, visited the residence of the ZiCTU President Comrade Peter Gift Mutasa and used sharp objects to deflate the tyres on his vehicle.
A trade union is a legitimate, transparent and democratic entity whose formation and operations are provided for in the national statutes and international labour standards. As such, a trade union can never be a terrorist organization. SATUCC, therefore, vehemently condemns the labelling of ZiCTU as a terrorist organization and further bemoans the continued hostile treatment and intimidation of trade unionists and civil society activists’ by state security agents in Zimbabwe.
SATUCC, together with the international community joined the citizens of Zimbabwe to celebrate the resignation of President Robert Mugabe in November 2017 and the taking over of leadership of the country by President Emerson Mnangagwa with the hope that the era of gross human rights violations which characterized President Robert Mugabe’s reign, had finally come to an end. It is a pity that all those hopes appear to have been shattered with the developments obtaining in Zimbabwe.
Mavis A. Koogotsitse
30 July 2020, Gaborone, Botswana