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Cablegate: Zctu Weighs Options After Cosatu's Expulsion

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

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