By Stephen Tsamba
THE Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (Artuz) has made an application to the High Court challenging its suspension from the upcoming Zimbabwe Congress of trade unions (ZCTU) congress.
Artuz said it made an urgent application to the High Court in order to challenge the ZCTU’s decision to deprive it of its voting privileges in the ZCTU congress which is set for October 27 to October 29, 2021.
“The Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe wishes to appraise its membership and citizens about the decision to file an urgent High Court chamber application against the decision by the General Council of the ZCTU to deny ARTUZ its voting rights as a bona fide member, a fully subscribed affiliate and a member in good standing of the ZCTU,” Artuz said in a statement Saturday.
“It is regrettable that such legal recourse has to be taken to establish the obvious but as a union we believe that since the general council is choosing not to resolve this matter urgently before the ZCTU congress slated for 27-29 October 2021 in which Artuz is being denied its voting rights, we have no option than to seek relief from the courts through a well-established and sound legal opinion that is based on well-founded facts and properly and correctly interpreted constitutional provisions to their entirety,” it said.
Delegates from ARTUZ are being denied their voting rights because of allegedly violating section 9,5 of the ZCTU constitution which calls for the names of delegates to be submitted to the secretary general four months prior to the conference with the deadline being May 31, 2021.
However, according to ARTUZ legal representatives Mtetwa and Nyambirai: “It is common cause that the decision to hold the general conference on 27th to 29th October 2021 was only taken by the general council at a meeting held on the 25th June 2021 and communicated to affiliates on 29th July 2021. Therefore, it is common cause that it was impossible for any affiliates to comply with Section 9,5 of the constitution, and it is a fact that none did,” the lawyers argued in court papers.
The lawyers further argued that according to the general council’s verdict, all affiliates and not just ARTUZ should be held accountable for non-compliance with section 9,5 of the constitution otherwise it is an unlawful suspension.