The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] condemns the growing violent and unjustified arrests of Trade Unionists by the government of Zimbabwe. This onslaught on trade unions and the right to protest is appalling.
The recent arrest of Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) President Obert Masaraure in connection with the death of an ARTUZ member back in 2016 is quiet opportunistic especially since the magistrate court ruled out foul play following an inquest.
Over the past years, comrade Masaraure has been a victim of numerous arrests on unjustified reasons and in 2019, he was abducted from his home by seven masked and armed men, who tortured and left him for dead without any recourse.
As NEHAWU, we view this as a clear effort by the State to silence Comrade Masaraure who has been very vocal against Human Rights Violations as well as advocating for better working conditions for teachers and workers in general in Zimbabwe.
There is a resurgence of violence in the country and instead of focusing on that, the police are terrorising trade unionists with the aim of silencing them. The recent barbaric abduction and mutilation of activist Moreblessing Ali, and the subsequent violence that followed upon her being found dead, has sent shock waves across the country and SADC region as a whole.
Lastly, as NEHAWU, we call on the government of Zimbabwe to allow for an environment that is conducive for freedom of association, assembly and speech where every Zimbabwean regardless of position can live without fear of being arrested, tortured or abducted. We call for the protection of labour rights, the end of intimidation of trade unionists and protection of all citizens as this is important. We call for the release of President Obert Masaraure and the Protection of Workers Right.
Issued by NEHAWU Secretariat
Zola Saphetha (General Secretary) at 082 558 5968; December Mavuso (Deputy General Secretary) at 082 558 5969; Lwazi Nkolonzi (NEHAWU National Spokesperson) at 081 558 2335 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org