Zimbabwe Elections: Military unleash violence
Zimbabwe Elections: Military unleash violence on peaceful assembly of protesters, gunshots fired at trade union offices
Brussels, 2 August 2018 (ITUC OnLine): The ITUC condemns the post-election violence by the Zimbabwean military and security forces, including gunshots fired at the offices of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), following spontaneous assemblies of protesters expressing fears about potential stealing of the election and democratic mandate of the people of Zimbabwe. The country’s Electoral Commission has declared that the ZANU-PF party won the elections with a substantial majority but has refused to release results, drawing criticism from the opposition and international observers.
Zimbabwe’s military has in recent past stood between the people of Zimbabwe and their realisation of democracy, stability, prosperity and the protection of their human rights. The Labour Movement harbored cautious optimism that Zimbabwe, in the lead up to this elections, had turned the corner but the deplorable recourse to violence against peaceful citizens yesterday is a continuation of the culture of impunity that keeps setting back the hopes of the Zimbabwean people. The ZCTU had repeatedly expressed concern over the role of the Electoral Commission in the lead-up to the elections.
“The Zimbabwean people have struggled for too long for basic human rights, decent treatment and democracy to build a resilient, stable and prosperous society for all. With the departure of Robert Mugabe an opportunity beckons to realise this and nothing should be done to undermine the aspirations and mandate of the people expressed through this critical election,” said Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary.
The ITUC calls on the Government to guarantee peace for all Zimbabweans and to stand with the people against impunity and unaccountable use of force against the citizens of Zimbabwe. The Government must hold the military to account.
“We urge the Electoral Commission to ensure that the counting of the ballot is transparent, inclusive and credible. Election is not only about peacefully casting a ballot. The remaining processes must meet the same test of being free, fair, transparent and reflecting the true wishes of the people.
We call on all stakeholders in the political process, especially political leaders, the security forces and civil society to act with utmost restraint and a great burden of responsibility to ensure that the rule of law, human rights and democracy prevail at this critical juncture and in the future,” said Burrow.
The ITUC represents 207 million members of 331 affiliates in 163 countries and territories.