Zimbabwe union leaders gets mail bullets ahead of muted strikes

Peter Mutasa

TWO senior Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) leaders claim to have been sent death threatening letters with bullets inside by suspected State agents in a development that could further strain the tenuous relationship between government and the country’s biggest labour federation.

In a statement, the ZCTU said its president Peter Mutasa and secretary general Japhet Moyo had received anonymous letters with bullets in them.

“The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions president, Peter Mutasa and secretary general, Japhet Moyo today received letters from unidentified people that had bullets in it.

“The letters were warning them not to organise a stay away on 22 July 2019 and threatened to kill the two and harm their families. The writers of the letter said that ‘we have hired mercenaries to deal with you once and for all – unless you stop what you are planning,” the statement said.

Last week, the ZCTU announced it has tentatively planned to hold a national stay-away on July 22 to protest against government’s decision to ban the use of foreign currency and the introduction of the local dollar. The labour federation also intends to protest against the deteriorating economic situation in the country.

The statement however indicates that the ZCTU was yet to report the case to the police but feared for Mutasa and Moyo’s lives.

“The ZCTU is taking these threats seriously and we are worried that our leaders’ lives are not safe,” said the labour body.

The statement added that the letters bore the State’s fingerprints.

“However we believe the threats are part and parcel of efforts to intimidate the ZCTU leaders from discharging their duties. The police will be notified of the incident,” said the ZCTU.

Mutasa is among dozens of political and civic leaders facing charges of subversion related to the protests called by the ZCTU in January that turned into an orgy of violence with 17 civilians dying in the hands of the military.