Lovemore Matombo defies expulsion


Former Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions president, Lovemore Matombo

By Alois Vinga

FORMER Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) president, Lovemore Matombo, has approached the High Court in a bid to overturn his expulsion from the Communication and Allied Workers Union of Zimbabwe (CASWUZ).
Matombo was sent packing from CASWUZ through a vote of no confidence on January 8 this year.
Months preceding his dismissal, he was under fire from the union’s membership for refusing to step down as CASWUZ president after attaining 65 years, the stipulated retirement age.
He was also accused of abusing his office by making unilateral appointments as well as misusing the union’s funds.
CASWUZ’s members then proceeded to hold a special congress on April 9 and elected Taurai Mereki and 11 others into the union’s interim leadership.
Nonetheless, Matombo has remained in office defying all the procedures taken to boot him out.
Former CASWUZ general-secretary, Christopher Chizura, who was also booted out alongside Matombo, recently approached the courts in a bid to nullify the vote of no confidence passed on Matombo and him.
He is also challenging the outcome of the union’s special congress.
Chizura said that the purported vote of no confidence against Matombo and him was illegal since the union’s constitution does not grant such a provision.
The court papers state that Mereki’s actions of writing to the Registrar of Labour advising of the purported vote of no confidence and new leadership was a nullity because there was no prior agreement made by the union’s supreme council to hold any special congress.
He argues that the idea of a special congress was a mere suggestion made by the president which was not adopted as a resolution of the council and recorded in the minutes.
“If the vote of no confidence was passed against two individuals out of 11 members, does it have the effect of automatically dissolving the entire national executive council and if so in terms on what provisions of the CASWUZ constitution?” queries Chizura in the court papers.
However, through the notice of opposition, CASWUZ interim president, Mereki, dismissed the claim by Matombo, saying that the applicant in the matter is no longer an office bearer and should not use the CASWUZ name in the application.
He also argues that the application was made by one individual and not all the members of the executive hence the need to dismiss the application.
Mereki is also pointing out that more than 90 percent of the supreme council members made a resolution to pass a vote of no confidence and agreed to subject all members to a special congress where it clearly emerged that the majority of the union members are fed up with Matombo.
The defendants are also arguing that the union’s supreme council, which is the highest decision making body outside congresses, made a resolution to boot out Matombo in line with the petitions handed in by members.
“The petitions touched, among others, glaring issues of maladministration on the part of Lovemore Matombo and Chizura, a case in point being the US$31 322,40 remitted by Telone (Pvt) Ltd on May 14, 2013 that was not properly accounted for under their watch,” reads the court papers.
Mereki explained that the special congress was held above board as it was in line with the supreme council resolution of July 4, 2015. A copy of the council’s resolution was attached as proof. CASWUZ is also arguing that every member of the national executive council and supreme council was invited to a meeting of July 4, 2015 to deliberate on the petitions, but apparently those who knew that they were unconstitutionally holding union positions made every effort to get the meeting aborted.

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