ABDUCTION AND TORTURE OF AMALGAMATED RURAL TEACHERS’ UNION OF ZIMBABWE PRESIDENT
The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) is shocked by reports of the abduction of Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe, (ARTUZ) President, Obert Masaraure at his home last night.
Reports indicate that he was abducted from his home by seven masked heavily armed men who tortured him and dumped him.
The abduction of Masararure follows reports by ARTUZ that it has recorded twelve cases of members of the security forces interrogating and harassing their members ahead of the 3 June 2019 job action.
The ZCTU strongly condemns this barbaric act that is meant to instil fear in trade unionists and the general public. What is more disheartening is that this happens just hours after President Emmerson Mnangagwa had commissioned the Tripartite Negotiation Forum (TNF) that brings Government, Business and Trade Unions together to try to solve the country’s socio-economic problems. Such behaviour, which earns Zimbabwe a pariah state tag, renders useless the effectiveness of the TNF.
The abduction of Masaraure comes at a time when the NAZI-style disappearance of activist, Itai Dzamara is still fresh in our minds. We demand a thorough investigation of the latest abduction and those found to have done it punished.
At the same time, the ZCTU notes with concern and alarm the continued clamp down and arbitrary arrest of civic leaders and opposition Members of Parliament in the aftermath of the14-16 January 2019 stay away called by labour to protest escalating prices.
Most of those arrested are facing charges of plotting to overthrow the government. The ZCTU is worried that this ‘New Dispensation” has become more dangerous than the Robert Mugabe regime as well as the notorious racist Rhodesian government of Ian Smith.
The ZCTU demands an environment conducive for freedom of association and assembly where every Zimbabwean can discharge his or her duties without fear of being arrested, tortured or abducted.