ARTUZ Condemns Targeted Intimidation and Attempted Abduction of Trade Union Leaders

The Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ), condemns the attempted abductions which are targeting union leaders simply because they are demanding that worker welfare be improved.

Four men clad in suits, armed with AK-47s, visited President Obert Masaraure’s Uncle’s residence in Kuwadzana at 2am on 13 July, 2020, demanding Cde Masaraure’s whereabouts. They threatened to destroy the door but Cde Masaraure’s cousin opened the door and was abducted and threatened with death for failure to reveal Masaraure’s whereabouts. Fortunately Cde Masaraure’s cousin was dumped at the shops unhurt by these vulturous armed men who claimed they were from secret state security.

During the same night, armed men with AK-47s also went to ZCTU President, Cde Peter Mutasa’s residence, demanding to see him. Upon realising that he was not there, they tried to force his relatives into their vehicle saying they had to show them where Cde Peter Mutasa was.

This is a deliberate attack on union leaders by the government using its security apparatus. We are left wondering what kind of arrest is that, to visit trade unionists at night as if they are criminals.

Their crime, according to the government, is to demand USD salaries for the workers. This kind of intimidation does not solve any problem as far as workers’ welfare is concerned. It rather worsens the relations between state and the already angered civilians.

As ARTUZ, we demand an in-depth investigation into these claims if the state is to clear its name. Cdes Masaraure and Mutasa are citizens of Zimbabwe who deserve the right to be protected under Zimbabwean laws and not to be intimidated for tabling genuine labour grievances.

We therefore demand an end to these guerilla tactics and we urge the government to pay workers decent USD salaries as the economy has since dollarised.

As the ARTUZ family, we remain in solidarity with Cdes Masaraure and Mutasa. No amount of intimidation will stop us from demanding a living wage.

Injure one, injure all.

ARTUZ INFORMATION DEPARTMENT
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