Commercial Workers Union paralysed


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The Commercial Workers Union, the largest affiliate of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, was paralysed following an internal coup which saw union president Lucia Matibenga being ousted and replaced by a new leadership.

Matibenga had won a court injunction preventing the rebels from conducting union business but another judge had subsequently ruled in favour of the rebel union members.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 05HARARE981, ZCTU CRISIS CONTINUES

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Reference ID

Created

Classification

Origin

05HARARE981

2005-07-18 14:15

CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN

Embassy Harare

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

 

181415Z Jul 05

 

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   AID-00   USNW-00 ACQ-00   CIAE-00 CTME-00 DODE-00

EB-00   EUR-00   E-00     VC-00   FRB-00   TEDE-00 INR-00

IO-00   LAB-01   L-00     VCE-00   AC-00   NSAE-00 OIC-00

OIG-00   OMB-00   PA-00   PM-00   PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00

SP-00   SSO-00   SS-00   STR-00   T-00     BBG-00   IIP-00

PMB-00   DRL-00   G-00     SAS-00     /001W

——————173415 190147Z /62

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC 8596

INFO SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY ABUJA

AMEMBASSY ACCRA

AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA

AMEMBASSY DAKAR

AMEMBASSY KAMPALA

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

AMEMBASSY PARIS

AMEMBASSY ROME

NSC WASHDC

USEU BRUSSELS

USMISSION GENEVA

USMISSION USUN NEW YORK

DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC

DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC

DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 000981

 

SIPDIS

 

 

SENSITIVE

 

AF FOR DAS T. WOODS

AF/S FOR B. NEULING

OVP FOR NULAND

NSC FOR DNSA ABRAMS, SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR C. COURVILLE

USDOC FOR ROBERT TELCHIN

TREASURY FOR OREN WYCHE-SHAW

PASS USTR FOR FLORIZELLE LISER

STATE PASS USAID FOR MARJORIE COPSON

USDOL FOR ROBERT YOUNG

USMISSION GENEVA FOR JOHN CHAMBERLAIN

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/31/2010

TAGS: ELAB ECON PGOV ZI

SUBJECT: ZCTU CRISIS CONTINUES

 

REF: A. A. HARARE 617

 

B. B. HARARE 671

C. C. HARARE 703

 

Classified By: Charge d’ Affaires a.i. under Section 1.4 b/d

 

——–

Summary

——–

 

1. (C) Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, (ZCTU) Information

Officer Mlamleli Sibanda told PolOff on July 15 that two

separate ZCTU meetings were disrupted within the past week by

&trouble-maker8 unions (Ref A and B). In one meeting, four

women were beaten up badly by several men.   Sibanda added

that the Commercial Workers Union of Zimbabwe,s leadership

battle is stuck in court, leaving the ZCTU without the full

engagement of its largest affiliate. End Summary.

 

—————————

ZCTU In-Fighting Continues

—————————

 

2. (C) According to Sibanda, two separate meetings were

disrupted within the past week by the &trouble-maker8

unions, which were now calling themselves the Aggrieved

Affiliates Worker,s Union (AAWU). On July 9, a ZCTU

Women,s Advisory Council meeting was disrupted when 20 men

barged in and assaulted those in attendance – mostly women.

Four women were beaten up badly, including the Women,s

Advisory Council,s Chairperson Phoebe Vhareta and Secretary

Tabitha Khumalo. On July 13, two men tried to scuttle a

Pensions Workshop by starting minor scuffles. However, the

police were called and took custody of the two men and the

meeting continued.

 

3. (C) Sibanda told PolOff that these incidents were

spearheaded by the AAWU, which had failed to change the ZCTU

leadership in May (Ref B). Although the AAWU included the

Zimbabwe Leather Shoes and Allied Workers Union, the

Transport and General Workers Union, and the Zimbabwe

Construction and Allied Workers Union, Sibanda asserted that

only the leadership and a small minority of each union

actually supported the effort. He categorically dismissed

the AAWU,s assertion that it represented 19 ZCTU affiliates,

stating that such a number would represent a majority of the

ZCTU General Council and be enough to make whatever changes

they wanted.

 

—————————————-

Commercial Workers Union Still Paralyzed

—————————————-

 

4. (C) Sibanda said the Commercial Workers Union of Zimbabwe

(CWOZ) remained paralyzed, as it had been since a group

claiming to be members held an impromptu meeting in May to

change the union,s leadership (Ref C). CWOZ President Lucia

Matibenga and the rest of the unions, leadership had won an

injunction preventing the rebels from conducting union

business in June. However, another judge had subsequently

ruled July 13 in favor of the rebel union members. Sibanda

told PolOff that Matibenga and the CWOZ leadership had

appealed this latest ruling, but in the interval ZCTU was

effectively without the full engagement of its largest

affiliate.

——–

Comment

——–

 

5. (C) After failing to change the ZCTU leadership in May,

the &renegade8 affiliates have re-organized themselves as

the AAWU and re-doubled their efforts to disrupt and paralyze

the ZCTU. The AAWU and the renegade CWOZ group have

effectively mired the ZCTU in intra- and inter-affiliate

strife. For now, a distracted ZCTU will probably continue to

be largely invisible in Zimbabwean political and social life

as its membership (and the rest of Zimbabwe) suffer through

social and economic turmoil.

SCHULTZ

 

 

NNNN

 

(46 VIEWS)

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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