ZIMBABWE’S biggest teachers union has pulled out of the umbrella Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions ((ZCTU) citing the latter’s alleged dabbling in opposition politics.
This was confirmed by ZIMTA CEO Sifiso Ndlovu in an interview with State media.
“Zimta has been pursuing an ideology of non-partisan political activities. In our view, it would be improper for a teacher who by heart and commitment does not believe in partisan politics to be dragged into opposition politics.
He added, “The decision to pull out was made by our national executive meeting, although it has not been formally communicated.”
Ndlovu said “any workers movement that becomes an appendage of a political movement will not survive”.
“It becomes captured and an embodiment of that political party,” he said.
“We have a resolution that we will not divide the union on the basis of politics. The other issue is that of governance, lack of transparency in the governance of ZCTU. We cannot be part of an organisation in which we are not consulted when major decisions are being made.”
Amid continued grumbling over poor wages and working conditions by workers, Zimta has been seen as more inclined to a softer approach towards government while the mother body, ZCTU and few organisations under its membership, have favoured a militant one.
The ZCTU is among the different interest groups that included students, civic groups and churches that contributed personnel and resources to form the MDC in 1999.
MDC has since become Zimbabwe’s biggest post-independence political party by parliamentary representation.
Since the time, ZCTU has continued to be part of MDC processes.
A section of the country’s workforce broke from ZCTU few years ago to form the pro-government Zimbabwe Federation of Trade Unions.
MDC leader Nelson Chamisa has been boasting about his party often “suckling” from “our mother”, ZCTU in a euphemism for following the ZCTU precedence.
Recently, he said that his party would maintain three vice presidents, drawing a template from ZCTU which has four VPs.