March 4, 2010, Geneva

The World Student Christian Federation (WSCF) and its Zimbabwe Advocacy Office (ZAO) wish to express shock and outrage at the recent wave of attacks on trade union leaders by police and security forces in Zimbabwe.  On March 1, 2010 police raided and ransacked offices of the General Plantation and Agricultural Workers Union of Zimbabwe (GAPWUZ) forcing its Secretary General, Mrs. Gertrude Hambira, a mother and farm-workers’ leader to flee her home and country. On March 3, WSCF and ZAO also received troubling reports of the arrest of staff of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) who were conducting a civic education workshop in the eastern city of Mutare.

These senseless attacks, together with the recent upsurge in general violence in the country, indicate clearly that Zimbabwe’s political crisis remains unresolved and that Zimbabwe’s Inclusive Government needs to do much more to deliver change.

We pray for the safe return of Mrs. Hambira and her colleagues to their homes and places of work.

We urge the Inclusive Government in Zimbabwe to protect the rights of workers and students to organise freely and uphold its commitment to restoring human rights and the rule of law in the country. A year after the formation of the Inclusive Government the international community continues to look to the leadership in Zimbabwe to demonstrate its commitment to genuine, irreversible reforms. We ask the ongoing 13th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council and the International Labour Organisation to take note and act on these attacks.

We urge students and workers worldwide to stand in unbreakable solidarity in the face of injustice and repression, particularly in support of the students and workers in Zimbabwe.

For further details please contact:

Rev Michael Wallace, General Secretary Coordinator, World Student Christian Federation, Email: wscf@wscf.ch

Marlon Zakeyo Zimbabwe Advocacy Office Email: wscf.zimadvocacy@gmail.com