ZCTU congress in limbo

Staff Reporter

The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) elective congress scheduled for end of this year is in limbo following a resolution by that organisation’s employees that they would not coordinate congress preparations until they are paid their outstanding salaries in two weeks.

A well-placed source within the labour body told this publication that ZCTU employees had gone for almost four years without receiving a salary and they were now contemplating staging a demonstration to force the leaders to quickly pay their dues.

“The employees are threatening to stage a demonstration to force the ZCTU leadership to settle all the outstanding salary arrears. Most workers have now gone for almost four years without receiving a salary and they have told Mr (Peter) Mutasa (ZCTU president) that they would not coordinate congress preparations until their outstanding salaries are paid in full,” said the source.

The insider revealed to this publication that ZCTU workers were now contemplating approaching the Ministry of Labour, Public Service and Social Welfare to intervene as the labour union was showing little interest in paying its workers.

The source added that it was ironic and surprising that ZCTU, a labour organisation that purports to stand for the rights of workers, was failing to pay its own workers.

“It’s ironic that the labour organisation is failing to pay its workers when it purports to stand for workers’ rights. ZCTU has relegated workers’ plights to the peripheries as it was now an active player in the Zimbabwean political arena. Workers now have no one to take care of their concerns as the labour body has slowly morphed into a political entity,” added the source.

According to the same source, ZCTU was also in limbo after its failure to access its accounts with the BancABC Botswana. The labour organisation opened seven accounts with BancABC Botswana, where donors deposited money to finance rogue activities in Zimbabwe. However, the funds are still frozen in the bank after the Batswana bank demanded that the labour organisation should avail a tax clearance certificate from ZIMRA. This was after ZIMRA instructed the bank to garnish ZCTU’s accounts because of its failure to pay its taxes.

ZCTU is now making frantic efforts to engage the Botswana Public Employees Union to negotiate with BancABC Botswana on its behalf so that the accounts could be unfrozen.

The source added that ZCTU was also in limbo as their traditional funders who include Alpheda of the United States, Lotco of Sweden, FNV Mondial of the Netherlands are yet to fulfill their pledges of US$50 000.

It was further revealed that due to Mutasa’s politicization of the labour movement, the Civil Service Apex Council has since formed an alternative labour centre called the Zimbabwe Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions (ZCPSTU) to insulate workers from ZCTU’s toxic politics.

Efforts to get a comment from ZCTU president Peter Mutasa were futile as his mobile was not reachable.