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Zimbabwe Farm Workers Union Official Flees Country After Questioning, Searches


GAPWUZ General Secretary Gertrude Hambira was interrogated by the Joint Operations Command composed of senior military and security officials, and her home and union offices were raided a number of times

Following questioning by army officials and state security agents and searches of her home and office, General Secretary Gertrude Hambira of the General Agricultural and Plantations Workers Union of Zimbabwe fled this week to South Africa, sources in the Zimbabwean labor movement said Tuesday.

Hambira was interrogated by the Joint Operations Command composed of senior military and security officials, and her home and union offices were raided a number of times after GAPWUZ brought out a film and a related report documenting abuses of farm workers during and after takeovers of white-owned farms.

Union sources said individuals claiming to be from the Central Investigation Department of the Zimbabwe Republic Police raided the organization’s offices again on Tuesday, taking assistant information officer Ziveyi Kamoto away for questioning. Other GAPWUZ officials were said to be in hiding.

The Africa office of the International Trade Union Confederation has sent a letter of protest to President Mugabe regarding the incidents.

Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions Secretary General Wellington Chibebe told VOA Studio 7 reporter Patience Rusere that such harassment under a supposed unity government shows power-sharing is a sham.

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