Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Journalists engage lawyers to force their union into having elections

By Staff Reporter

Disgruntled members of the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ) have engaged lawyers who have since written to Secretary General Foster Dongozi demanding that he convene a congress that will elect a new leadership.

ZUJ Secretary General Foster Dongozi
ZUJ Secretary General Foster Dongozi

A journalists who spoke to Nehanda Radio said Dongozi’s “term expired in February this year. He claims we can’t have elections now because there should be an audit at ZUJ first. In March he called for a National Council meeting where we agreed to have elections on May 25 but again that did not happen.

“And after that he called an illegal meeting on 23 May which was attended by a few members of National Council members who are aligned to him and forced the council to postpone the elections to an unknown date in December.”

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In a letter dated 29 May 2013, Gonese Attorneys, representing journalists Blessed Mhlanga, Moses Matenga, Frank Chikowore, Pindai Dube and Nqobani Ndlovu argued that these postponements have violated the ZUJ constitution and the office bearers are now acting illegally without a mandate.

“Such conduct demonstrates the highest level of hypocrisy in an esteemed organization such as yourself, which laments constantly about the need to adhere strictly to the rule of law,” the journalists said.

“Your failure to adhere to your own Constitution is indeed unacceptable, shameful and regrettable… [You] should ensure that Congress is held on or before the 30th of June, 2013, failure to which we shall not hesitate to take legal action.”

Dongozi meanwhile is reported to have dismissed the threats of legal action branding the journalists as “renegades” who are being used by their employers to destabilize the union.

“They are renegades who are fronting for employers and other interest groups that we cannot reveal now. It is not the first time, for example, that efforts have been made to weaken the union,” Dongozi is reported as saying.

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