ZCTU president Lovemore Matombo together with Michael Kandukutu, Percy Mcijo, Dumisani Ncube and Nawu Ndlovu were arrested in the resort town on Sunday night for holding meetings with workers without police approval.
But a magistrate on Thursday dropped charges against them on the grounds that under the notorious Public Order and Security Act (POSA) trade unions were exempted from seeking police authority to hold meetings with their respective membership.
Matombo and the four unionists were freed on Thursday, much to the delight of the ZCTU membership.
But in a hard-hitting statement on Thursday night, ZCTU secretary general Wellington Chibebe said Mohadi and Mutsekwa should quit the inclusive government for allegedly letting the nation down by wrongly applied POSA.
“It is heartbreaking that innocent people had to spend four nights in filthy police cells and only freed after the intervention of the courts,” said Chibebe. “The ZCTU expresses its disappointment in the actions of the inclusive government, particularly those of the co-Ministers of Home Affiars Giles Mutsekwa and Kembo Mohadi.
As stated in our previous statements, the two gentlemen have failed this nation. The best present they can offer Zimbabweans is to resign.” However, Chibebe said the ZCTU welcomed the court’s ruling that the police had no business disrupting the ZCTU meeting and arresting innocent trade unionists.
“The police should be undoubtedly ashamed of their actions. The comments made by the police through state owned media that the ZCTU should have sought police clearance before holding the meeting smack of a police force that acts on political decisions and not on whether one has a case to answer or not.
This is not the kind of police that Zimbabweans want, but unfortunately we have to live with such. This points to the fact that we definitely need to reform the police so that we have a professional non-partisan force.”