Zimbabwe

The following statement was issued by the South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU) in support of six Zimbabwean activists and socialists facing trial for “inciting public violence” in relation to screening a video more than a year ago in support of the Egyptian pro-democracy uprising. * * * The South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU) is alarmed to hear reports that the six Zimbabwean activists who dared to show and discuss a film of the Egyptian uprising last year in Harare and who are in court defending themselves, are in danger of receiving heavy prison sentences.
Six Zimbabwean socialists are charged with “inciting public violence” (which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment). They were arrested on February 19 while meeting to watch video footage of democracy protests in Egypt and Tunisia. The February 16 letter from Zimbabwe below explains the latest developments. * * *
Six activists arrested in Harare, along with 39 others, were finally granted bail on March 16 after a month in jail. The activists were arrested for attending a video screening of footage from the people’s uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia. However, the six need to raise US$12,000 to pay their bail — far more than they can afford. An appeal is being launched internationally to raise the funds needed to pay the activists’ bail (see below for details). The bail conditions require the six to surrender passports and travelling documents. They must report three times a week to the police.
The article below is abridged from SocialistWorker.org. Protest messages to the Zimbabwe embassy in Australia can be sent to zimbabwe1@iimetro.com.au . * * * The resistance sweeping the Arab world and the repression against it has reached southern Africa, where more than 50 activists have been arrested by the Zimbabwean regime of President Robert Mugabe. Those arrested include former member of parliament Munyaradzi Gwisai and other members of the International Socialist Organization (ISO) in Zimbabwe.
The following article by the International Socialist Organisation of Zimbabwe first appeared in the July issue of Socialist Worker, newspaper of the ISOZ. Visit http://iso.zim.googlepages.com.
According to a July 15 statement by Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) spokesperson Patrick Craven, a meeting of southern African trade union representatives that day had issued a call for unions to place industrial bans on goods destined for Zimbabwe in solidarity with the struggle for democracy.
On June 29, ZANU-PF’s Robert Mugabe was declared the winner by electoral officials of the presidential run-off vote on June 27, in which he was the only candidate. It was announced that Mugabe had won 2,150,269 votes against 233,000 for the leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Morgan Tsvangirai.
The ZANU-PF government of President Robert Mugabe has its origins in the liberation struggle against the white supremacist Rhodesian regime of Ian Smith. How did a government that emerged from a mass struggle for liberation degenerate into the dictatorship that exists today?
A May 19 statement by the International Trade Union Confederation reported that Zimbabwe’s High Court had granted Z$20 billion bail to Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions president Lovemore Matombo and ZCTU general secretary Wellington Chibebe. The two were are facing charges of “inciting the public to rise against the government and communicating falsehoods”. As part of the bail conditions, the two were being barred to “address any political gathering until this matter is finalised” and ordered to reside at their given home addresses. The ZCTU leaders were charged after they told workers gathered at Dzivaresekwa Stadium on May 1 that people were being killed during the current wave of political violence in the country.
A May 13 statement from the Zimbabwe International Socialist Organisation (ISO) condemned “the arrest and detention of Zimbabwe congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) President Lovemore Matombo and Secretary General Wellington Chibhebhe on the 8th of May”.

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