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Chamisa accused of fomenting ZCTU wars

by Staff reporter
17 Mar 2021 at 06:19hrs | Views
The MDC Alliance has been accused of making frantic efforts to sponsor a camp aligned to the president of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) Mr Peter Mutasa who is losing support following accusations of maladministration and embezzlement of funds.

The State-owned Herald claims that it understands that Mr Chamisa's MDC-A is sponsoring a breakaway Commercial Workers Union of Zimbabwe (CWUZ) so as to mobilise support for Mr Mutasa, who has become unpopular among unionists. The ZCTU is a grouping of most unions that include CWUZ, thought to be the largest.

Sources within the labour union said the drive to form such a rival faction was mooted after the realisation that Mr Mutasa was losing grip as most unions were against his leadership owing to a plethora of charges that ranged from maladministration to embezzlement of donor funds.

One of the sources said: "Pertinent to note is that the Commercial Workers Union of Zimbabwe (CWUZ) has the largest membership and as such would second more delegates to the elective congress than other unions hence the targeting of the same.

"The bona fide CWUZ executive is led by Jefferson Banda who was elected at Adelaide Acres in Harare in September 2020. However, the MDC Alliance sponsored the holding of an elective congress for the rival grouping at the CWUZ offices at 156 of 6th Street, Parktown in Waterfalls on March 5, 2021 and elected an executive led by one Ratidzo Banda.

According to the source, the congress was conducted at night without even notifying the police for clearance and was attended by about 35 people. Police in Waterfalls have since arrested three of the members for unlawful gathering: Cephas Mukuni, Jabulani Gwaradzimba and Fumai Fumai. Spokesperson of Mr Chamisa's party Fadzai Mahere was not picking her phone and neither did she respond to messages sent to her mobile phone.

In April 2019, a showdown was looming between the ZCTU and its members over the labour representative body's decision to join MDC-Alliance ahead of the embattled party's crunch congress in May that year to elect new leadership.

The turmoil which was brewing in the labour body came after MDC-Alliance resolved at its national standing committee meeting to allot a quota of posts to the ZCTU, even though there are no political tests to join a ZCTU affiliate and almost all unions go out of their way to keep party politics out of union activities.

The resolution irked the trade union's general council members, who expressed alarm over conspiracies by the ZCTU leadership to conflate labour and opposition politics.

According to sources, Mr Mutasa and secretary-general Mr Japhet Moyo were being accused of abusing their authority by unilaterally forcing the labour body to join opposition politics.

Mr Mutasa reportedly wrote to MDC-Alliance leader Mr Nelson Chamisa, formalising the request for the allocation of a quota of posts in the opposition party.

In May 2019, the Zimbabwe Teachers' Association (Zimta) pulled out of the ZCTU, accusing the umbrella labour representative body of continuously dabbling in opposition politics, undermining the cause of workers.

Source - the herald
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