ZCTU looking up to COSATU


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The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions was out of its depth after its failed stay-aways and the failed “Final Push” by the Movement for Democratic Change and was looking up to COSATU to take up its cause.

This was the view of Unites States ambassador Christopher Dell after the government had deported 13 COSATU members and the ZCTU complained that it was not getting enough cooperation from the South African embassy.

ZCTU vice-President Lucia Matibenga had told the embassy that the labour movement had not yet decided whether or how to protest the deportation of the COSATU delegation.

A South African diplomat criticised COSATU for undertaking a fact-finding mission without concurrence from the government of Zimbabwe.

Dell commented: “Although ZCTU officials regret the harsh handling of their COSATU counterparts, they are no doubt pleased that GOZ suppression of civil liberties is gaining wider coverage in South Africa.

“In reality, ZCTU officials have few options and admit Zimbabweans have grown weary of stay-aways, especially since the opposition Movement for Democratic Change’s failed “Final Push” in mid-2003.

“For that reason, ZCTU officials welcome any revived COSATU protest against the GOZ, especially if this week’s events move COSATU closer to an oft-threatened but never implemented “blockade” of Zimbabwe.

“However, the rather passive approach of the ZCTU – basically to sit back and watch events unfold – is not encouraging. “

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 04HARARE1783, ZCTU Weighs Options After COSATU’s Expulsion

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Reference ID

Created

Classification

Origin

04HARARE1783

2004-10-28 13:43

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.

UNCLAS HARARE 001783

 

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 ZCTU

SUBJECT: ZCTU Weighs Options After COSATU’s Expulsion

 

Ref: Harare 1770

 

Sensitive but unclassified.

 

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

officials have not decided whether or how to protest the

GOZ’s deportation of a Congress of South African Trade

Union (COSATU) delegation from Zimbabwe. ZCTU Vice

President Lucia Matibenga told us her labor body is

waiting to see whether COSATU initiates its own protest,

such as an interruption of passenger or cargo traffic

between the two countries.

 

2. (SBU) Matibenga said ZCTU officials and South African

Deputy Chief of Mission Kingsley Sithole were in constant

telephone contact until the GOZ took the thirteen COSATU

delegates across the border yesterday morning, but she

expressed frustration with these exchanges. Matibenga

said Sithole repeatedly criticized COSATU for undertaking

a fact-finding mission without GOZ concurrence. South

African Ambassador Jeremiah Ndou has declined public

comment.

 

3. (SBU) Comment: Although ZCTU officials regret the

harsh handling of their COSATU counterparts, they are no

doubt pleased that GOZ suppression of civil liberties is

gaining wider coverage in South Africa. In reality, ZCTU

officials have few options and admit Zimbabweans have

grown weary of stayaways, especially since the opposition

Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)’s failed “Final

Push” in mid-2003. For that reason, ZCTU officials

welcome any revived COSATU protest against the GOZ,

especially if this week’s events move COSATU closer to an

oft-threatened but never implemented “blockade” of

Zimbabwe. However, the rather passive approach of the

ZCTU – basically to sit back and watch events unfold – is

not encouraging.

 

Dell

 

(3 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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