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10.02.2005 General News

TUC protests against Zimbabwe denying entry to COSATU delegation

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Accra, Feb. 10, GNA - The Trades Union Congress (TUC) on Thursday registered its protest against the action of the government of Zimbabwe to deny a delegation of the Congress of South African Trade Union (COSATU) entry into that country.

The COSATU delegation had expressed its willingness to visit their Zimbabwean counterparts, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trades Unions (ZCTU) but was denied access.

"We are convinced that it is not fair on your part, Mr President to deny COSATU the opportunity to engage their counterparts of the ZCTU on issues of common interest." the TUC said in letter signed by Mr Kwasi Adu-Amankwa to the Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe.

"We hope that your government will soften its stance for dialogue to be harnessed to improve the political as well as trade union rights in Zimbabwe."

The statement noted that in trade unionism, as in other endeavours, it was important from time to time for third parties to intervene in matters outside their jurisdiction, sometimes in the hope of helping to address problems in a particular country.

"All said and done Zimbabwe cannot continue to live in isolation from the rest of the world and it is for this reason that in our view the government of Zimbabwe should have allowed COSATU access to their colleagues in Zimbabwe."

The statement recalled that in October 2004, immigration authorities in Zimbabwe expelled from Harare, a similar delegation of trade unionists from South Africa and threatened to jail the members if they made further attempts to enter that country.

The statement said besides the treatment meted out to the COSATU Delegation, information reaching TUC indicated that the Zimbabwean government continued to repress trade union activists by harassing, beating, arresting, and mistreating representatives of the ZCTU and its affiliates.

"The Ghana TUC wishes to indicate its determination to support the legitimate rights of Zimbabwe workers and equally shares the concerns of COSATU and the rest of the international trade union movement on the important need for the international community to intervene in the worsening situation in Zimbabwe."

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