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Union challenges Chinotimba’s life presidency bid

By Bridget Mananavire

Buhera South Zanu PF MP Joseph Chinotimba’s bid to become a life president of the Zimbabwe Urban and Rural Council Workers’ Union (ZURCWU) has been challenged by the union’s current executive.

Zanu-PF Buhera South legislator Joseph Chinotimba weighed in saying the banning of second hand clothing was not a good idea especially in the face of current job losses.
Zanu-PF Buhera South legislator Joseph Chinotimba

In a High Court challenge, the union’s general secretary Bernad Dhanda said Chinotimba was no longer eligible to lead the union as he was now a legislator.

The hearing has been set down for March 8.

ZURCWU wants the court to order Chinotimba to “stop masquerading as the union’s president”.

“Unmoved by his status, which had been conveyed to him by ZURCWU members, Chinotimba has been going around various branches of the applicant and various local authorities masquerading as the president of the applicant,” the court application reads.

“The first respondent (Chinotimba) has caused a lot of mayhem and confusion in the local authorities to the extent that some local authorities have suspended the check-off system to the detriment of the trade union and its members.

“The first respondent has caused the freezing of the bank account of the applicant and this has adversely impacted on applicants’ operations.”

The union operates in 19 local authorities across the country.

Dhanda said Chinotimba claimed to have been given powers to lead the union for life by former Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo and former Labour minister Nicholas Goche.

Dhanda said Chinotimba was dethroned in 2008, and the union held three elections after that to choose presidents of the union, which Chinotimba never participated in.

“On Saturday July 19, 2014, the first respondent held a meeting at the Zanu PF provincial headquarters where he announced that he was authorised by ministers Chombo and  Goche to take over the leadership of  the union and he solicited for a move to amend the applicants’ constitution to make him life president. He must be censored and if not censored, he is bound to destroy the applicants.

“Chinotimba was a president on the basis that he was a founding father only. He was never elevated to the position of executive president or patron.

“In any case the applicant’s constitution does not provide for such positions.”

In 2008, Chinotimba relinquished the post of the union’s president to contest the Buhera parliamentary seat.

“He lost (union) elections and did not come back to the fold of the applicant.

“Even if he wished to do so, he did not qualify by virtue of the fact that he was no longer employed by any local authority.

“He has also resigned from the City of Harare where he worked as a municipal police officer,” Dhanda said in his court papers. Daily News