ROBSON CHERE ARTUZ SG

ZCTU CONDEMNS CHERE’S ARREST, DEMANDS UNCONDITIONAL WITHDRAWAL OF CHARGES

BY ADMORE MARAMBANYIKA

 

The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has condemned the arrest of the Amalgamated Rural Teacher’s Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) secretary general Robson Chere’s arrest over a 2016 murder case which was cleared of foul play by the Magistrates Court.

In a statement, the ZCTU Secretary General, Japhet Moyo said the labour body was appalled by the action of the Zimbabwe Republic Police to arrest Comrade Robson Chere on the heels of the arrest of the teachers’ union’s president Obert Masaraure on the same case.

He deplored the behavior of the Zimbabwean authorities and demanded that the that the charges preferred on both Comrades Chere and Masaraure be unconditionally dropped.

“We demand the State to immediately stop the continued intimidation, harassment, and persecution of the unionists as well as a stop to the criminalisation of trade unionism. The arrest of Comrade Chere comes barely a month after the arrest of ARTUZ President, Obert Masaraure, who was arrested in connection with the death of an ARTUZ member, comrade Roy Issa, that happened in 2016. Both Comrade Chere and Masararure are now being jointly charged with the same murder of Roy Issa. The incident was extensively investigated by the homicide department in 2016 and the Magistrate Court ruled out foul play following an inquest,” he said.

Moyo said the police action was clear victimization to silence the ARTUZ leadership for its vocal stance on the welfare of teachers and civil servants.

“There is no doubt that the regime is now targeting ARTUZ because of its vocal stance on the welfare of teachers and the arrests are meant to silence trade union leaders and instill fear into their members. What is more surprising is that the matter is now being handled by the Law and Order Department of the police instead of the Homicide Department, a clear indication that this is political,” said Moyo.

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