- Police on Thursday detained the President and General Secretary of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) for mentioning in May Day speeches the election controversy and the ensuing violent intimidation campaign.
President Lovemore Matombo and General Secretary Wellington Chibebe were charged with "inciting people to rise against the government and reporting falsehood about people being killed."
Detained at Harare Central Police Station, the union leaders have joined thousands of people currently feeling the wrath of the Mugabe regime. Until their arrest, the people have been hunting them.
"Freedom of speech is a vital to trade unionists. The detention of the ZCTU leadership is extremely worrying given the brutal beatings they suffered during their detention in September 2006 and the widespread use of violence and torture against detainees in Zimbabwe," Secretary General of the International Trade Union Confederation, Guy Ryder, said.
The violence inflicted upon the people of Zimbabwe is a matter of the outmost concern to the international trade union movement, which was why International Transport Workers' Federation and its affliates were in action last month to prevent an arms shipment destined for Zimbabwe from being unloaded.
The ITUC has asked the International Labour Organisation to intervene with the government of Zimbabwe to release the two leaders with no further delay. It will also complain to the ILO Committee on Freedom of Association against these unjust arrests.
"The government of Zimbabwe must release the leadership of the ZCTU immediately and drop all charges against them," said Guy Ryder.
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