COSATU slams Zanu (PF)

HARARE - Zanu (PF) was a clear example of a liberation movement gone astray, and it was worth asking whether the country's independence needed to be celebrated this year, the Congress of SA Trade Unions (COSATU) said this week.

COSATU spoke as it mobilized the 300,000-strong South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (SATAWU) to refuse to unload a weapons ship laden with weapons of war because of concerns Robert Mugabe’s military junta might use them against opponents in the post-election stalemate.

“We are absolutely disgusted at the level at which human rights are abused in Zimbabwe,” Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said in a statement issued in the wake of Zimbabwe’s independence last Friday.

Vavi said the beating, torture and dehumanisation of President Mugabe’s political opponents was an embarrassment to what Zimbabweans fought for.

He asked how the African Union (AU) planned to morally deal with the situation in Zimbabwe, especially in light of purchases of arms of war by the Mugabe regime to retain power.

Meanwhile South African government action that succeeded in blocking an examination of the human rights situation in Zimbabwe by the United Nations Security Council has been criticised at home and abroad.

Zimbabwe escaped international scrutiny over the delay in results after South African President Thabo Mbeki made a “no action” motion on a UN resolution calling for debate on the issue.

The draft resolution had expressed deep concern over continuing abuse by the Zimbabwean government, including the hold-up in results, assaults, torture, cases of rape and arbitrary arrests.

This week, SA opposition Democratic Alliance said it was “deeply disturbed and shocked” to learn South Africa had led such a proposal.

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