The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has called on the Zimbabwean Government to release detained leaders of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) and 39 others arrested for participating in protest march over fuel price increase.
Mr Ayuba Wabba, NLC President made the call during a protest march by the congress at the Zimbabwean High Commission on Friday in Abuja.
Among those arrested is Japhet Moyo, the General-Secretary of ZCTU.
Wabba said that the NLC has followed with a sense of outrage the ugly incidents that have trailed the mass protests in Zimbabwe.
He said that the protest was occasioned by the sudden increase in pump prices of petroleum products by the government of Zimbabwe.
According to him, we have it on good authority that many leaders of the union and several civilians have been harassed, tortured, illegally detained and murdered for participating in the peaceful protests.
“The protest is against what many Zimbabweans perceive as insensitive policy choices by the government of Zimbabwe.
“The Nigerian working class family is sad that what should have passed as a civil action in democratic climes was met with disproportionate use of force by the Zimbabwean military and security forces.
“The brazen show of force culminated into widespread suppression and violation of the fundamental human rights of ordinary Zimbabweans, who were exposed to an orgy of violence, bloodshed and acts of state cruelty.
“The NLC is particularly concerned about allegations of home raids, killings, rapes, robbery and physical assaults against workers, women, children and civilians generally, during the so-called crackdown of protests by the Zimbabwean security forces.’’
Wabba, reminded the Zimbabwean Government that the action of the security forces was in violation of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 87 on the Right to Unionise and Organise.
“The Nigeria Labour Congress reiterates its firm support for democracy, the rule of law, and respect for human rights cum dignity everywhere and at all times.
`We, therefore, extend our strong solidarity to the workers and people of Zimbabwe as they express their democratic rights to peaceful assembly and protest.
`We stand with you today, being Feb. 1, 2019 and always as we lead Nigerian workers and all lovers of democracy, freedom and civil liberties on a march to the Zimbabwean High Commission, Abuja.
“This is protest against the descent of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government to a reign of cold-blooded dictatorship, brutality and tyranny, he said.
The NLC president added that what was happening right now in Zimbabwe was out of tune with democratic tenets and certainly not in tandem with Mnangagwa’s promise of a new Zimbabwe.