Chamisa’s ally ousted as ZCTU President, as Mwonzora takes control




Florence Taruvinga has ousted Peter Mutasa to become the first female president of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions

HARARE – The president of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) Mr Peter Mutasa who was loyal to the MDC Alliance President Nelson Chamisa was on Friday was ousted from office after a crashing 73:59 defeat to Florence Taruvinga.

Ahead of Congress, the Douglas Mwonzora led MDC-T endorsed the presidential candidature of National Energy Workers Union (NEWUZ) leader Florence Taruvinga. Sources said Chamisa who is on a wheel-wind travelling across the country, failed to support his camp.

Taruvinga ousted Mr Mutasa to become the first female president of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions.

Taruvinga who is a ZESA technician polled 73 votes to Mutasa’s 59 during a vote by 26 of the 31 unions affiliated with the ZCTU.

The 9th Elective Conference Results went as follows: 1. President: Florence Taruvinga 2. 1st VP: Valentine Chikosi 3. 2nd VP: Nicholas Mazarura 4. Treasurer General : Douglas Chiradza 5. 1st DSG : Runesu Dzimiri 6. 2nd DSG : Kudakwashe Munengiwa.

Mr Mutasa is a vocal critic of the Zanu PF government and his close proximity to Nelson Chamisa and the opposition MDC Alliance has unsettled the Mnangagwa administration.

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.

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Sources understand 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.

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.