ITUC Africa General Secretary detained in Harare

UPDATE: Kwasi Adu Amankwah, General Secretary of ITUC-Africa, has been released from detention in Zimbabwe at 16.15 local time today. He expects to be able to continue his planned meetings with the trade unions and government there to seek negotiated solutions to the crisis in the country.

The ITUC has condemned the detention of Kwasi Adu Amankwah, General Secretary of its Regional Organisation ITUC-Africa, by the Zimbabwean authorities during a visit to the country for meetings with trade unions and the government. Adu Amankwah was removed by security forces from his hotel in Harare early this morning and taken to the airport where he was detained.

The leadership of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), Japhet Moyo and Peter Mutasa, still face charges for exercising their right to strike calling for a peaceful three day stay away action from 14 to 16 January 2019. The strike call followed a unilateral decision by the Zimbabwean government to impose a 150 per cent hike in the price of fuel. Zimbabwe police targeted trade union leaders in the crackdown on protesters.

The ITUC has been calling on the government to drop the charges against the trade union leaders, to establish an independent judicial inquiry into the excessive violence used against protesters and to start a national social dialogue to find a peaceful and constructive way out of the economic crisis, with full respect for human and labour rights. Adu Amankwah was scheduled to meet with the ZCTU leadership and the Zimbabwean Minister of Labour Sekai Nzenza to this end.

“It is completely unacceptable that once again efforts to engage in dialogue with the government have been met with obstruction and repression,” said ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow. “We urge the government to allow our Regional Secretary to continue his planned mission in Zimbabwe and meet with workers and the ZCTU to demonstrate our global solidarity, as well as with the Ministry of Labour to start negotiating a solution.”

Visit the ITUC-Africa webpage here.

Read the ITUC letter to the Ambassador of the Republic of Zimbabwe to the Benelux here.

Read the last ITUC OnLine on the situation in Zimbabwe here.