/ 8 April 2008

Cosatu, ZCTU demand Zim election results

The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) on Tuesday demanded that the Zimbabwean presidential election results be announced.

”If there is a clear winner, that winner must form a government. If there is no winner, the election must be rerun, with an increased number of international and local observers”, said ZCTU general secretary Wellington Chibebe.

The two trade-union federations met in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

The ZCTU told journalists during a press briefing in Braamfontein that it and other civil society formations were under ”intense pressure” from their constituencies to initiate protest action in the face of the refusal of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to announce the presidential election results.

The union federation said its leadership was aware that such protests might be what President Robert Mugabe was praying for because it would give him an excuse to declare a state of emergency and rule by decree. ”For that reason we are urging all our members to remain calm.”

When Chibebe was asked what he thought about President Thabo Mbeki’s statement that the situation was manageable in Zimbabwe, he said the statement was rather unfortunate.

”People have suffered enough. We want everyone else to compel the ZEC to announce the results,” he said, but declined to reveal what his organisation would do if the ZEC failed to announce the results. — Sapa