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Zimbabwe Security Minister Warns Trade Union Against Strike Call

A top Harare official has warned the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions against organizing a two-day national strike in early April, as it proposes. The trade union’s national executive council decided on the action in a weekend strategy session.

The ZCTU said it intends to organize such a two-day strike every three months to protest the deterioration of living standards for workers.

State Security Minister Didymus Mutasa was reported to have warned the labor body against organizing the proposed two-day stayaway on April 3 and 4.

The ZimOnline news agency quoted Mutasa as saying that labor leaders "want to start a war and we are more than prepared to deal with them." Last September, 30 officials of the ZCTU and the Movement for Democratic Change were alleged to have been severely beaten by police and security agents after they tried to stage a protest.

ZCTU Secretary General Wellington Chibebe told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the government’s warning will not prevent the union from speaking out on the national crisis or from organizing protests.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...