The MDC-T on Thursday said they would never impose a candidate from their party for the top post of secretary-general at the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) as they respected workers’ rights to choose who should lead them.
MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora denied allegations the party planned to impose Kuwadzana MP Lucia Matibenga as a prospective candidate for the ZCTU secretary-general’s post.
The post fell vacant following the recent elevation of incumbent Wellington Chibebe to the post of deputy secretary-general of the International Trade Union Confederation in Brussels, Belgium.
“The MDC-T is not fielding any candidate in the ZCTU elections because we respect that the ZCTU is an institution and in particular, also respect other institutions within the ZCTU,” said Mwonzora.
“We therefore support the ZCTU during its congress and it is the sole prerogative of the ZCTU delegates to choose the leadership of their choice and the MDC-T will work with whoever has been chosen by the delegates at the congress.”
Mwonzora said his party would not prefer any candidate at the expense of others.
“The statements that we want to field a candidate are not true.
“Matibenga is a well known member of the labour movement and whether she becomes a candidate or not is not known to us.
“However, it must not surprise anyone if she lands the top post given her history of trade unionism,” said Mwonzora.
But, Chibebe, the outgoing ZCTU secretary-general, said Matibenga would attend the congress as a trade unionist and not on an MDC-T ticket.
Matibenga said: “I cannot comment on issues that are already before the courts because I do not want to find myself on the wrong side of the law.”
On Tuesday, eight affiliate members of the ZCTU led by Raymond Majongwe’s Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) had their application to block the labour body’s congress quashed by the High Court which ruled it as not urgent.
High Court judge Justice Susan Mavangira ruled the matter was not urgent, but the PTUZ filed another urgent appeal with the High Court on Thursday.