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Chamisa linked ZCTU rocked by power struggles

POWER struggles have threatened to divide the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) ahead of its elective congress set for next week, with some affiliates claiming that they have been deliberately disqualified from voting.

The ZCTU is set to hold its congress from October 26 to October 29, 2021 in Harare

Two of its affiliates, the Amalgamated Rural Teachers' Union of Zimbabwe (Artuz) and the Footwear Tanners and Allied Workers Union of Zimbabwe (FTAWUZ), have approached the High Court seeking an interdict after being proscribed from voting.

In the court papers filed recently, Artuz and FTAWUZ cited the ZCTU as respondent, claiming that they were fully paid-up affiliates of the labour body, and must participate at the congress.

Artuz and FTAWUZ, who are represented by Doug Coltart of Mtetwa and Nyambirai Legal Practitioners, want the court to bar ZCTU from preventing them from exercising their voting rights at the 2021 congress.

"If the conference goes ahead to the applicants' exclusion, the harm will be irreparable as the violation of rights will have already taken place. The applicants have no other adequate remedy and the balance of probabilities favours granting the interim interdict," the two unions said.

According to court papers, on July 29, 2021 and July 2, 2021, the ZCTU wrote to the two applicants advising them that the congress had been scheduled for October 27 to 29 2021.

On October 8, 2021, the ZCTU wrote to the applicants advising them that they would only be accorded observer rights at the congress.

This was after ZCTU had consulted with Mbidzo Muchadehama and Makoni Legal Practitioners who advised that the applicants had failed to comply with section 9.5 of the ZCTU constitution which requires that the names of delegates and current membership be submitted to the secretary-general four months before the congress.

The applicants argue that they were informed of the decision to hold the general conference late, and, therefore, it was impossible for any affiliates to comply with clause 9.5 of the constitution.

They stated that the attempt to deny them voting rights was against the aims and objectives of the ZCTU.

"It appears that the wisest decision in the best interests of the ZCTU and its aims and objectives would be to simply postpone the congress to ensure that all affiliates are in compliance with clause 9.5 of the constitution," the applicants stated.

They said ZCTU could only go ahead with the congress in agreement with all affiliates.

The ZCTU is yet to file its response.

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

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