Cablegate: Goz Denies Afl-Cio Rep Renewed Work Permit

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

061439Z Nov 03





E.O. 12958: N/A


1. (U) The GOZ has refused to extend the work permit of
AFL-CIO's resident representative. The rep applied for
renewal in July 2003, upon expiration of his previous
annually-renewed permit. He received four separate one-month
extensions before being notified that no further extensions
would be granted, and that he "should go with this letter to
his nearest Immigration Office so that departure arrangements
may be made." The most recent monthly extension will expire
on 21 November.

2. (SBU) The rep is not particularly surprised by this
development, noting that both of his predecessors were
similarly denied permit renewals and were both required to
leave Zimbabwe before their five-year assignments were
completed. Although he will appeal the decision, the rep
will likely wind up his Zimbabwean residential obligations,
and attempt to pursue remote operations from Gaborone.

3. (SBU) Comment: Post has suspected for some time that the
work permit would not be renewed. The rep's final denial and
departure will have a negative impact on the ongoing
operations of a key sector of civil society. The GOZ
continues to target labor both directly, as in the recent
arrests of labor union leaders, and indirectly, as in this
attack on a peripheral labor support group. The rep's
departure will further strain the arm's length relationship
of Post personnel with labor contacts, many of whom are
reluctant to appear too close to Western influences. The
Ambassador and visiting Congressional staff delegation raised
our concerns over the AFL-CIO representative's status with
Minister of Labor July Moyo several months ago and got
evasive answers. Given that the GOZ has periodically
expelled AFL-CIO representatives, we believe that there is no
realistic prospect that the USG can alter the GOZ decision in
its current, more repressive phase at a time of negative
USG-GOZ relations. End comment.

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