Though the pro-government media, especially the electronic media, has been pushing forward the Zimbabwe Federation of Trade Unions (ZFTU) as the representative of the workers and highlighted in May Day celebrations ignoring those of the larger Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), the government has never recognised the ZFTU as the genuine workers’ representative, at least on paper.
This has emerged from the memorandum of understanding setting out who sits in the Tripartite Negotiating Forum which comprises the government, employers and labour.
Employers’ representatives are recognised as the government through the Public Service Commission and those represented by the Employers Confederation of Zimbabwe (EMCOZ). Workers are represented on the government side by the Apex Council of the Civil Service Associations and those represented by the ZCTU.
Sources say even at the International Labour Organisation meetings, workers from Zimbabwe are represented by the ZCTU. Last year, the ZFTU attended as observers and special advisers. They were certainly not special advisers to the ZCTU.
With the TNF now in full throttle, having managed to get the government to agree a new exchange rate to promote exports and hiking the price of fuel which was last reviewed in 2001, perhaps the ruling ZANU-PF felt it was time to reward Chinos for the sterling work he had done, first in the farm invasions and jacking up workers.
Joseph Chinotimba has been chosen to represent the ruling party in the Highfield seat, a constituency that was represented by President Robert Mugabe when he was still Prime Minister and Member of Parliament.