Embattled former Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) president Lovemore Matombo on Thursday declared himself the legitimate leader arguing the outcome of the elections that ushered a new executive at the labour body were null and void.
Matombo, who downplayed reports of a split in the country’s largest labour body, branded the new leadership as bogus.
He said they were elected in a rigged election and as a result he decided not to attend the congress as he would not partake in fraudulent activities.
He said 12 ZCTU affiliates siding with him would file a court application to nullify the results of the Bulawayo congress at the High Court on Friday.
“The whole process was rigged and thus the unions that did not meet the criteria set by the Constitution were offered more delegates than the well established unions and it is with this that I did not attend the gathering of August 19 and 20,”said Matombo.
“We are going to have an authentic ZCTU congress at a date to be announced before December 31 and we are saying to these other colleagues they should not steal elections and be fraudsters, and this is what they are – they know they stole the elections.”
The unions that allegedly misrepresented their numbers and did not meet the constitutional standards of the ZCTU are Commercial Workers Union, Food industry, General and Agricultural Plantation Union of Zimbabwe and Pulp and Paper Union.
Former ZCTU treasurer general, Blessings Mujuru said Matombo was the custodian of the labour body Constitution and since he did not preside over the Bulawayo congress, it meant it had not been properly constituted hence ZCTU was yet to go to congress.
He attacked outgoing secretary-general Wellington Chibebe and said he had all along used his power to sideline Matombo and influence decisions at ZCTU.
“As far as I am concerned, no congress has been held and there is no provision in the ZCTU Constitution that anyone can substitute the President. The best gift for this country is the departure of Chibebe,” he said.
But Chibebe maintained Matombo’s faction should fight through the courts, not newspapers.
“The outcome of the Bulawayo congress is final and if they want to contest it then the courts will make a decision,”Chibebe said.