HomeNewsDefiant Hwarare vows to stay put

Defiant Hwarare vows to stay put


MASVINGO — Under-fire Zimbabwe Sugar Milling Industry Workers’ Union (ZISMIWU) secretary-general Admore Hwarare has vowed to stay put at the lucrative workers’ body, despite massive demonstrations against his executive on Tuesday on allegations of misappropriation of funds and abuse of office.

Tatenda Chitagu

About 1 000 cane workers from the Lowveld plantations demonstrated in the sugar-growing town of Chiredzi demanding Hwarare and his chairman Simbarashe Nyemba’s ouster, accusing them of not representing their interests as well as making donations to several organisations without their consent while ignoring the workers’ welfare.

They also accused Hwarare of being aligned to former Vice-President Joice Mujuru and sponsoring her alleged plot to assassinate President Robert Mugabe.
Addressing the protesters, Freedom Mudungwe, who is eyeing a position in the union, said Hwarare had embezzled funds from workers and charged them money for a “non-existent” housing scheme.

“If you contributed money to the so called housing scheme, that money was abused in broad daylight. We are tired of this executive and we say it is high time that Hwarare and Nyemba leave the union,” Mudungwe said.

But in a telephone interview yesterday, Hwarare sounded defiant saying he was not leaving the union and would wait for the annual general meeting where he would slug it out with those eyeing his position.

“I am not going anywhere and I will wait for the elections when they are going to be held. That is nonsense. I cannot leave the union to opportunists and thieves who want to capitalise on my sweat.

“I am surprised by the interest in this union when there are many other workers unions. Why ZISMIWU and not any other union?

“The workers are paying a subscription and we are giving them a service and the money has to keep the union going. It is just like when someone is paying money to a doctor and then you ask him why his wife is putting on an expensive hairstyle, instead of questioning the service,” Hwarare said.

He said all the donations that were being made by the union were above board.

“And on allegations of donations to Zanu PF, we were working with the leadership that was there, that is why we handed them to then secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa, little did we know that they were planning to rebel against the President. The donations were meant for Zanu PF, not a faction,” Hwarare said.

In the run-up to the Zanu PF congress last year, Hwarare donated 40 motorbikes and $70 000 to the party through Mutasa’s office.

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