College Lecturers Association of Zimbabwe president, Mr David Dzatsunga, was yesterday elected new Apex Council chairperson in an election boycotted by other civil servants unions. Apex Council is a body that brings together all civil servants unions in salary negotiations. Fourteen unions
participated in the elections, while three unions affiliated to the Public Service Association boycotted the polls.
Mr Dzatsunga takes over from Zimbabwe Teachers Association president, Mrs Tendai Chikowore, who led the council for the past eight years.
Yesterday’s elections also saw Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe programmes and communications officer, Mr Oswald Madziva, being elected secretary while
Teachers Union of Zimbabwe landed the treasurer post. The new executive will serve for the next two years.
However, the PSA boycotted the elections with their president, Mrs Cecelia Alexander, saying they should have been handed over the chairmanship without elections.
Previous appointments were on a rotational basis, but this year the unions decided to stick to section 6 (1) of the Apex Council constitution that requires office bearers to be elected.
On a rotational basis, the chairmanship should have gone to the PSA, which had elected Mrs Alexander as their representative.
The electoral process came after internal squabbles had rocked the unions, a situation that affected their salary negotiations with Government.
Mrs Alexander said: “The posts have been on a rotational basis and to us their elections were unconstitutional. We did not boycott the elections, but some of our affiliates felt those from education sectors wanted to dominate proceedings and since we represent most Government departments, to us their elections were a non event.”
She said other unions that participated in the elections were not part of the Apex Council.
Other unions said the names of the new executive would be forwarded to the Ministry of Public Service soon.
Zimta chief executive, Mr Sifiso Ndlovu, said the issue of rotating the chairmanship was a “gentlemen’s” agreement, but unconstitutional.
“The people have voted and we cannot be held at ransom by three unions. Apex has found a new life and it is time to unite and fight for a common cause.”
TUZ chief executive, Mr Manuel Nyawo, said they were happy with the electoral process.
“We might have some queries, but for progress sake I think it is the best way to go,” he said.
PTUZ secretary general, Mr Raymond Majongwe, said they could not continue fighting for positions while the workers suffered.
“For a change civil servants have come together and shown a high degree of commonality. This is a democratic process and we have no complaints,” he said.