By Alois Vinga
ZIMBABWE Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) will this week convene an epoch defining elective congress amid disgruntlements by some affiliate unions.
Speaking to Newzimbabwe.com on the state of preparedness, ZCTU general secretary, Japhet Moyo said plans for the event were at an advanced stage.
“We expect around 200 invited guests and delegates to turn up for the 9th elective congress. The conference is earmarked for Harare at a venue to be announced on the 29th and 30th of this month. The event will run under the theme, “We are at a crossroads! Unite, Fight Neoliberalism, Repression and Austerity!,” Moyo said.
The labour federation leader said the theme comes against a background where the highest decision making organ, general counsel, agreed that current economic reforms, popularly known as the austerity measures, have brought about untold suffering through cutting back in funding public health, education and public utilities that benefit the poor and that is not good for the peasants and workers.
“The theme speaks to the current challenges that are so many and that authorities appear clueless to resolve,” he said.
However, while Moyo did not divulge the hidden details on the impending fierce contest scheduled to manifest this week, investigations by our publication revealed that around 29 affiliate unions will battle it out this Friday as opposed to the less than ten affiliate unions which partook in the previous congress five years ago.
“Many of these affiliate unions have managed to pay up and clear their arrears and now believe that it is time to correct a situation where only a handful of unions partitioned positions in the federation among themselves during the last congress,” a highly placed source in the federation said.
NewZimbabwe.com also managed to unearth that a female candidate is likely to take off the gloves and battle it out for the top post of assuming the federation’s presidency.
However, two ZCTU affiliates, the Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) and the Footwear Tanners and Allied Workers Union of Zimbabwe (FTAWUZ), have since filed an urgent chamber application with the High Court which threatens to throw the congress into jeopardy.
The duo is seeking an interdict after being proscribed from voting.
The affiliates contend that they were fully paid-up affiliates of the labour body and must participate at the congress.