MDC eyes ZCTU elections
By Chengetai Zvauya
HARARE – Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC is keeping an eye on the forthcoming Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) elections as the labour movement seeks a candidate to replace outgoing secretary general, Wellington Chibebe.
Front runner in the race and party preference Lucia Matibenga, an MDC national executive member and ZCTU vice president, is tipped to take over from Chibebe.
The ZCTU congress is set for 17-19 August. The MDC, according to party sources, is keen to ensure it retains the support of the country’s labour federation, where many of its leaders, including Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, came from.
Matibenga has already started campaigning for the post, according to ZCTU and MDC sources.
Others are ZCTU president Lovemore Matombo and incumbent deputy secretary-general Japhet Moyo.
Matibenga is no longer eligible to contest for a position in the presidium because she has served two terms as vice president, according to the ZCTU constitution.
This explains her decision to run for the secretary-general’s post. The same applies to Matombo hence the move to seek another portfolio within the labour movement.
The secretary-general’s post is a powerful position because the incumbent is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the organisation.
Chibebe is set to assume a new post as secretary-general of the Brussels-based International Trade Union Confederation immediately after the ZCTU congress.
Chibebe took over the post of secretary-general from Prime-Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, while Matombo succeeded the late Gibson Sibanda in 1999 when the MDC was formed.
Matibenga yesterday refused to discuss her interest in the job.
“I am not ready to talk about it. I have no comment to make at the moment until election time,’’ she said.
Matibenga is one of several political leaders with roots in the labour movement that gave birth to the MDC.
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