BY CHARLES LAITON
The Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) has thwarted a move by the Zimbabwe Energy Workers Union (Zewu) to compel it to remain affiliated to the power utility’s workers’ union.
High Court judge Justice Owen Tagu dismissed an application filed by Zewu with costs on a higher scale following the failure by energy workers’ union to bar Zinwa to establish own workers’ committee composed of members from the Zimbabwe Water Trade Union (ZWTU).
“The application is dismissed. The applicant (ZEWU) (is) to pay costs on a legal practitioner and client scale,” Justice Tagu ruled.
Through its secretary-general Martin Chikuni, Zewu had opposed Zinwa’s move on the basis that it already conducted elections with Zinwa, whose members were affiliated to it, and had also set up a workers’ committee which was in place.
Chikuni’s application came about after Zinwa indicated that it intended to set up its own workers’ committee in September this year and cease to be part of Zewu’s member.
His argument was that in August this year, his union conducted an election for Zewu’s committee where ZWTU members were also present, adding they contested, but were defeated by his union’s members, who won all the seats.
“Through a memo by the first respondent (Zinwa) dated August 20, 2019, the applicant (Zewu) notes that the first respondent intends to conduct the election for the selection of second respondent’s (Zimbabwe Water Trade Union) members to be committee members on August 26 and September 13, 2019,” he said.
However, ZWTU secretary-general Butholethu Mthokozisi Dube said his union was legally registered and, as such, it had the right to represent the interest of its members.
“It is noteworthy that prior to the registration of the second respondent no trade union existed to specifically represent employees in the water sector particularly employees of the first respondent which is the biggest employer in the water undertaking,” Dube said.