Fight for democracy in Zimbabwe as crucial as ever

Wednesday, May 29, 2002 - Giampiero Alhadeff, SOLIDAR's Secretary General, on returning from Zimbabwe where he met with opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai and senior trade unionists, stated that the restoration of the rule of law and of democracy must be the first priority for Zimbabwe.
"The government, having rigged the elections and created a food shortage through its bungled land reform, now believes it can get itself out of a fix by violating such a basic human rights as the freedom of association. We are particularly concerned by the government's purchase from Israel of five "new-generation" crowd-control water cannons. There is much pent-up anger and disillusionment among the people of Zimbabwe. The government is pursuing a dangerous course

  • it is preventing people from associating and expressing their opinions peacefully, and refusing calls for a re-election."

The visit coincided with a seminar for Zimbabwean trade unionists and NGOs to discuss how globalisation affects workers and their families in Zimbabwe. The seminar was part of the Global Network project, coordinated by SOLIDAR in collaboration with the International Federation of Workers Associations (IFWEA) and the UK trade union UNISON. The seminar participants stressed how there was a need for unity and concerted action at the national, regional and global level.

The Global Network brings together NGOs and trade unionists in twenty-four countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Over the next three years they will strengthen their solidarity with each other and work together to turn globalisation into a force to eradicate poverty, and to protect and advance the rights of workers. The project is supported by the UK Government's Department for International Development, the Workers Education Association of Finland, the US trade union federation AFL-CIO, Public Services International (PSI), the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, the Olof Palme International Centre, the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU); and the governments of Finland and Sweden.