ZCTU decries 2018 bad human rights record

THE Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has berated President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration over the surge in human rights violations experienced in the country this year, singling out the August 1 shooting of civilians by soldiers in Harare as the worst.

BY BRENNA MATENDERE

Speaking at a belated International Human Rights Day commemoration held in Gweru recently, ZCTU deputy president Florence Taruvinga said the country plunged into a worrying period of human rights violations this year, with workers being the worst affected.

“Today, as we gather locally, we cannot stand tall and claim that we are enjoying human rights as Zimbabweans and workers, in particular. As 2018 ends, we can reflect on serious injustices and flouting of human rights,” she said.

Taruvinga singled out the August 1 killings by the military which left six people dead and 35 injured as the height of human rights violations in the year 2018.

“Peak of the injustices was the 1st of August military killings of civilians who were exercising their right to demonstrate as enshrined in the Zimbabwean Constitution.
There is no injustice that surpasses summary executions as witnessed on 1 August,” the firebrand trade unionist said.

On October 11, ZCTU leaders who planned to demonstrate against the 2% transaction tax introduced by Finance minister Mthuli Ncube, were rounded up by police and locked up.

Taruvinga lamented the national operation and classified it as another glaring incident of human rights violations.

“The right to demonstrate has also been denied to us. On October 11, the police pounced on us, arrested and detained labour leaders countrywide to stop workers from exercising their right to demonstrate … Human rights cannot be separated from workers’ rights. On several occasions, our constitutional freedoms have been violated,” she said.

This week, Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe members who were marching from Mutare to Harare in protest over poor salaries and bonuses, also faced the wrath of the law enforcement agents as they were detained and arraigned before the courts. On Tuesday, they were again arrested in Ruwa and detained.

Human Rights Day is celebrated annually across the world on December 10.

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