ZCTU officials' trial set for next month

HARARE - The trial of seven Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) activists has been set for December 11 at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts.

The trade unionists were arrested on October 11 while protesting against price hikes and the lack of food and other essential goods in the country.

The arrest of the trade unionists, including ZCTU president Peter Mutasa and secretary-general Japhet Moyo attracted international scorn.

As many as 150 police officers are reported to have surrounded the ZCTU offices in Harare and arrested both of the country’s most senior trade union leaders in order to stop the holding of a planned demonstration against a transaction tax increase. Further arrests were reported in Mutare and Masvingo.

Besides Mutasa and Moyo, also standing trial are Simon Mutasa, Ezekiel Matema, Munashe Chirowamari, Benice Maluleke and Prescilla Jonhi.

They are all being charged with participating in a gathering with intent to promote public violence in October.

It is the State’s case that on October 8, the ZCTU informed the officer commanding Harare Central Police District that they intended to conduct a peaceful demonstration in the CBD.

The police turned down the request and the trade unionists challenged the ban in court but lost.

Allegations are that they defied the ban and carried out an unlawful demonstration along Jason Moyo Avenue in Harare.

It is the State’s case that they were holding placards insulting President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

 

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