Comment: ZCTU bickering bad for workers

The ongoing power struggles at the country’s umbrella labour body, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), are indicative of the fact that those heading the labour body were probably driven by selfish motives other than their publicly proclaimed desire to have the country’s workforce bettered.

The labour body, which has a tendency of accusing the Zanu PF side of the coalition government of democratic deficit especially when it comes to elections, finds itself in a quandary and this leaves a lot to be desired.

Former ZCTU president Lovemore Matombo recently declared himself the legitimate leader, arguing the outcome of the elections that ushered a new executive two weeks ago at the labour body were null and void.

It is appalling that accusations of rigging elections could be thrown back and forth in the corridors of this erstwhile bona fide worker body.

Matombo accused the other unions of allegedly misrepresenting their numbers and failing to meet the constitutional standards of the ZCTU while outgoing secretary-general Wellington Chibebe has been accused, on the other hand, of having used his power to sideline Matombo and influence decisions at ZCTU.

One wonders whether Matombo himself has remained in the labour body as president through rigging of elections or not. What does this say about workers’ rights and the labour body’s constitution?

He should gracefully concede defeat if he thinks he is more democratic than all those that he has accused of failing to respect the constitution. For all we know, Matombo had completed his mandatory terms as ZCTU leader, so why would he want to change the constitution? Whose interest will he be serving in that regard?

As the war rages on, it is obvious that the majority of the workers, whose interests they are supposed to look into, will suffer the consequences and one would urge the labour body to put its house in order so it can concentrate on its mandate.

The planned action by Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe secretary-general Raymond Majongwe’s group to freeze the ZCTU account and assets in a bid to destabilise the new executive committee, is tantamount to sabotaging the workers they purport to represent.

What kind of advocacy is that? If anyone of them believe they have all it takes to win an election, they should have gone to the congress and won. In this case they lost in absentia. How pathetic!

The Majongwe group’s move is uncalled for and will portray Majongwe’s camp in no better light than fly-by-night politicians they have accused of being despots.

Will they then preach a democratic gospel after they would have failed to respect their own constitution?

Japhet Moyo, who has already assumed his new role as ZCTU secretary-general, subsequently rubbished Majongwe’s group saying the ZCTU no longer took them seriously.

This fight for control of the ZCTU is uncalled for. Employers will take advantage of the situation and neglect employees.

Why should a worker suffer simply because some disgruntled official within the ZCTU, who lost an election whose date was set by the same organisation and failed to win a single vote, still want to cling to power?

The workers demand better treatment!

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