Candid Comment: Constitutionalism Should be the Buzzword

This was because the split was a “battle of personalities” which left the labour body feeble.

 

ZCTU split into two factions in August last year with one under Matombo and the other led by George Nkiwane. Nkiwane was elected at a congress boycotted by the Matombo group in Bulawayo.

Matombo disputed the results, saying delegates who voted for Nkiwane were not bona fide ZCTU members.

However, Majongwe told the Zimbabwe Independent this week that reunification was critical and long overdue, but the process, which he described as political, needed an eminent broker.

“The bottom line is the two parties must come together to form one formidable labour movement. A political process is needed to achieve this where both parties agree on a road map for reunification. A respectable power broker would be needed to see through this process,” said Majongwe.
Majongwe said possible power brokers could be church luminaries, National Constitutional Assembly chairman Lovemore Madhuku or someone from the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu).

He said the split was unwarranted but “a battle of personalities took centre stage”.

Majongwe said the road map should address the leadership issue.

“There would be trade-offs, sharing of spoils in the political process, but the leadership issue is critical. Workers need strong leaders,” said Majongwe.
However, the Independent understands that those calling for reunification talks were bowing to a financial squeeze as major funders are concerned by the split.

The talks began early this year and presently involve junior officials from both factions meant to culminate in “real talks” involving leaders of the factions.
Sources said the ZCTU’s traditional funders, including Dutch Trade Union Federation Federatie Nederlandse Vakbeweging, were in contact with both camps in an effort to reunite them.

“Low key reunification talks are in progress but some faction leaders are not keen for the public to know this,” said a member of Nkiwane’s camp.
Sources which used to fund the ZCTU, which gave birth to the MDC in 1999, have reportedly imposed a purse squeeze.