COSATU delegation deported


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A delegation of 13 members of the Congress of South African Trade Unions which had come to Zimbabwe on a fact-finding mission despite warning by the government that it was not welcome were deported after being held for several hours according to Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions vice-President Lucia Matibenga.

Matibenga said Zimbabwean immigration officials broke up a meeting between ZCTU and COSATU and detained the South African trade unionists for several hours, explaining that they were awaiting a decision from the cabinet which was holding its regular Tuesday morning meeting.

Immigration officials informed the ZCTU leadership that cabinet had reached a decision to deport the thirteen delegates.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 04HARARE1770, GOZ Deports COSATU Delegates

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Reference ID

Created

Classification

Origin

04HARARE1770

2004-10-26 14:25

UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

Embassy Harare

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

 

261425Z Oct 04

UNCLAS HARARE 001770

 

SIPDIS

 

STATE FOR AF/S

USDOC FOR AMANDA HILLIGAS

TREASURY FOR OREN WYCHE-SHAW

PASS USTR FLORIZELLE LISER

STATE PASS USAID FOR MARJORIE COPSON

 

SENSITIVE

 

E. O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: ELAB PGOV ECON ETRD PHUM ZI

SUBJECT: GOZ Deports COSATU Delegates

 

 

Sensitive but unclassified.

 

1. (SBU) Local Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU)

officials have confirmed press reports that the GOZ

deported thirteen visiting delegates from the Congress of

South African Trade Unions this afternoon. ZCTU Vice

President Lucia Matibenga said Zimbabwean immigration

officials broke up a meeting between ZCTU and COSATU at

10:45 am. According to Matibenga, the immigration

workers detained the South African trade unionists for

several hours, explaining that they were awaiting a

decision from the GOZ cabinet, which was holding its

regular Tuesday morning meeting.   Around midday, the

immigration officials informed ZCTU leadership that

cabinet had reached a decision to deport the thirteen

delegates. Maitibenga believes the delegates were put on

a 3:00pm British Airways flight to Johannesburg.

 

2. (SBU) Despite the GOZ’s attempt to cancel COSATU’s

visit, the COSATU delegation entered Zimbabwe last night

on a fact-finding mission. According to press reports,

immigration authorities held the delegates in the airport

for 1-2 hours before admitting them to the country. The

South African labor body planned to meet representatives

of both parties and civil society, in addition to holding

meetings with ZCTU.

 

3. (SBU) Comment: Having warned COSATU against coming in

advance, the GOZ may have felt that deportation of the

group was necessary to preserve its credibility. The

Government may be especially loath to let domestic and

foreign critics develop any momentum in the wake of

opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s acquittal on

treason charges earlier this month. The move may

backfire, though, if it stimulates a strong response from

South African media and civil society that in turn

heartens and emboldens domestic critics here or, equally

important, encourages COSATU to put pressure on Mbeki to

engage more actively on Zimbabwe. In any event, the

truculent move underscores the ruling party’s instinct

for a defiant rather than an accommodating posture in

response to attempts at outside intervention.

 

Dell

(7 VIEWS)

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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