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Morgan welcomes Dáil motion on Democratic Process in Zimbabwe

15 May, 2008

Sinn Féin TD Arthur Morgan speaking in the Dáil today welcomed a motion on the Democratic Process in Zimbabwe.  However Deputy Morgan said he is disappointed that no room was found in the motion to comment the efforts of ordinary workers in South Africa and Mazambique for their actions in support of human rights in Zimbabwe.


Deputy Morgan said, “I would like to welcome the motion before the Dáil today, which Sinn Féin will be supporting. Sinn Féin welcomes the acknowledgement of the importance of the African Union and the South African Development Community taking a lead in the search for a peaceful solution.


”Zimbabwe’s history of colonisation and oppression at the hands of Britain means that it is all too easy for the Mugabe regime to opportunistically represent protests from European or American governments or organisations as ‘western imperialism’.


“However I am disappointed that the motion failed to commend the efforts of ordinary workers in South Africa and Mozambique for their actions in support of human rights in Zimbabwe.  It was dock workers in the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union who refused to unload a weapons shipment bound for Zimbabwe at the end of April. It was the International Transport Workers Federation that was decisive in preventing Mozambique being used as an alternate destination.


“I would also like to support the call from the Irish Congress of Trade Unions for the immediate release of the President of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, Mr Lovemore Motombo and the Secretary General, Mr Wellington Chibebe.  The release of all people who have been imprisoned for non-violent political activity should be part of what the Dáil demands today.


“I have no doubt the Irish Government and Irish Aid will continue to play the positive role they have played to date but more needs to be done.  I feel there would be merit in taking the cross party consensus we have achieved here today into the Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs.   I would propose the Committee invites human rights organisations like Amnesty International and representatives from Irish Aid or other aid organisation on the ground in Zimbabwe to give us the benefit of their advice on what we can practically do to assist the people of Zimbabwe. 


“The new Minister for Foreign Affairs should undertake to consider the report of such a meeting.  I am sure those here with me will agree that fine speeches and the passing of motions should be accompanied by actions.” ENDS

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