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"The BWI strongly condemns the continuing arrests, harassments and intimidation of trade unionists by your security forces, which in our opinion represent worst abuses of workers’ rights. We urge you to order the security forces to immediately and unconditionally release GAPWUZ officials that are currently under arrest in Zimbabwe and to ensure the return of any properties taken from their offices by your security personnel," said BWI general secretary Ambet Yuson. In its message to the president and to the prime minister of Zimbabwe, BWI has condemned and strongly protested against the arrest, intimidation and harassment of its affiliate the General Agricultural and Plantation Workers of Zimbabwe - GAPWUZ.
According to the information received by the BWI, on 19 February 2010, the General-Secretary of GAPWUZ, Gertrude Hambira, and members of her staff were summoned to Police General Headquarters from the Law and Order section at Harare Central Police station and arrested the GAPWUZ Assistant General Secretary Gift Muti and President Manjemanje Munyanyi. Also, the Police mounted a rigorous search in the offices of GAPWUZ looking for what they described as information contained on a video tape highlighting disturbances on Zimbabwean commercial farms, we are informed that Cde Muti was later released but Cde Munyanyi is still in Police custody.
"The arrests of trade unionists and the raiding of union offices are in contravention with ILO convention Nos. 87 and 98. These two instruments, which Zimbabwe has ratified, call for States Parties to ensure respect for the freedom and security of persons, freedom from arbitrary arrest and detention, protection against acts of interference, freedom of opinion and expression, the right to provide information through the media and the right to protection of the properties of trade union organisations" added Ambet Yuson.
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Zimbabwe (02/03/2010 - 30/03/2010)
ACT NOW! Trade union leader arrested in Zimbabwe
BWI Action: Mr. President, I am writing to condemn the arrests of Assistant General Secretary Gift Muti and President Manjemanje Munyanyi of the General Agricultural and Plantation Workers' Union(GAPWUZ), affiliated to the Building and Wood Workers' International, BWI. When the police stormed the GAPWUZ offices they said they were also looking for GAPWUZ General Secretary Gertrude Hambira. According to the information received by the BWI, the Police mounted a rigorous search in the offices of GAPWUZ looking for what they described as information contained on a video tape highlighting disturbances on Zimbabwean commercial farms. We are informed that Muti was later released but Munyanyi is still in Police custody. The arrests of trade unionists and the raiding of union offices are in contravention with ILO Convention Nos. 87 and 98. I urge you to release GAPWUZ President immediately and stop further harassment of GAPWUZ staff. It also urges you to stop further investigation of Ms. Hambira in connection with her legitimate activities as the General Secretary of the GAPWUZ. I hope that you will pay prompt attention to this very serious matter and look forward to your immediate action. Yours sincerely,