Reports we have now are that at least 120 people have been arrested in Harare alone and they are held at the Harare Central Police Station and hopefully they will appear in court tomorrow
The total figure of those arrested countrywide is at least 200. No charges have been pressed against them and the indications from police in Harare is that they will only start processing their papers tomorrow (Wednesday).
Three other ZCTU members were arrested by soldiers. namely Mlamleli Sibanda, Last Tarabuku, Leonard Gwenzi and Thabitha Khumalo a general council member They were later released after the soliders handed them over to the Police law and order section. The four were arrested four allegedly photographing an army truck.
The demonstration was organised by the ZCTU against high price increase, high taxation levels, shortages of medical drugs, high transport costs and the general economic decay in the country.
Official Inflation is currently at 360 percent while unemployment is pegged at 80 percent. Generally 80 percent of the population live in abject poverty and most households can no longer afford a decent meal a day. School fees are now beyond the reach of many ordinary Zimbabweans.
Those who participated in the demonstration included those from the infomal economy who were affected affected by Operation Murambatsvina.
The ZCTU has orgainsed this demonstration to remind government and employers that workers in Zimbabwe including civil servants can no longer make ends meet.
The ZCTU appreciates the solidarity it has received so far and hopes you will put more pressure on the government for the release of the trade union activists.
***The 120-ZCTU activists including Wellington Chibebe and Lovemore Matombo the ZCTU President are still in Police custody but have all been transfered to Chitungwiza 25 Kilometres outside Harare. Reports we have received but not yet verified indicate that Wellington Chibebe and a few others were tortured last night. The Police have not given any reasons for transferering the activists to Chitungwiza, neither have they charged anyone yet. The paperwork still has not been done. Lawyers are still fighting with the police.
Among the people arrested are about 20 people living with HIV/AIDS who can not assess treatment at the moment and five women with babies and other disabled people. This situation is particularly worrying as we now fear that there might be some fatalities because of the conditions these people are in.
* Several other arrested activists have been moved to Makoni, Dema and Mbare police stations. The phone numbers are:
Dema: +263-70-23142, +263-70-21928
Makoni +263-70-22006, +263-4-22001
ZCTU Information Department
ZCTU Box 3549
Tel: 263 4 702517
Cel: 263 11 620 232
Fax: 263 4 728484
Web : wwww.zctu.co.zw
STATEMENTS FROM WORKERS DEMOCRACY, THAILAND AND REVOLUSTAS, BRAZIL
Workers' Democracy Thailand are very concerned about the arrests of comrades Aaron Dhliwayo, John Bomba and Munyaradzi Gwisai. They are special friends of the comrades here as they have spoken at our meetings on a number of occasions.
We wish to send a warm message of solidarity and hope that they will be released as soon as possible.
We learnt about the arrest of several activists in Zimbabwe, including 3 comrades of ISO Zimbabwe. We will publish a note and a solidarity appeal in our website and magazine. Please let us know more details about the arrests.
IF YOU CANNOT GET THROUGH ON THE NUMBERS LISTED IN THE SECOND POSITNG BELOW, THEN TRY +263-4-733033, +263-4-721212
OR POLICE HEQDQUARTERS ON +263-4-700171, +263-4-700172
OR THE ATTORNEY GENERALS OFFICE ON +263-4-774539, +263-4-781769
ALTERNATIVELY THE PRESIDENT’S OFFICE ON +263-4-781063, +263-4-781064