ZCTU under siege as ZRP arrest more leaders in Gweru

ZIMBABWE Republic Police (ZRP) officers have intensified their crackdown against Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) after arresting three leaders of the country’s largest labour union in connection with an anti-government protest which the law enforcement agents foiled on Thursday 11 October 2018.

ZRP officers first arrested Moses Gwaunza on Thursday night at his residence and detained him at Gweru Central Police Station on allegations that he participated in an illegal gathering on Thursday 11 October 2018.

On Friday 12 October 2018, ZRP officers arrested two more ZCTU officers Charles Chikozho, the ZCTU Administrator in Gweru and Bernard Sibanda, the ZCTU’s District Secretary, who were charged together with Gwaunza for participating in a gathering with intent to promote public violence, breaches of the peace or bigotry as defined in section 37 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.

The arrest of the three ZCTU leaders in Gweru brings to 42 the number of ZCTU leaders and members arrested since Thursday 11 October 2018.

Out of the 42, 12 in Masvingo were released late Thursday while 20 in Mutare are currently appearing at Mutare Magistrates Court facing charges of participating in a gathering with intent to promote public violence, breaches of the peace or bigotry in contravention of section 37(1)(a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act. In Harare, seven ZCTU leaders are currently appearing at Harare Magistrates Court, charged with disorderly conduct in a public place as defined in section 41 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.

Source: Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights

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