TWO top ZEWU officials Peter Shotere and Martin Chikuni attended the 16th Congress of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) in South Africa which was held from the 21st to the 23rd of June 2018. Shotere is the union 1st Trustee while Chikuni is the general secretary.
Shotere spoke highly of the manner the event was organised and said this posed a challenge to other unions to emulate.
He said NUM demonstrated its maturity despite efforts by former president, Angeline Chitambo, who had requested that officials from ZEWU should be barred from attending the congress.
“She came with eggs on her face. It was a huge embarrassment and I think she has learned it the hard way that organizations are bigger than an individual,” Shotere said.
Shotere took advantage of the gathering to explain to leaders of sister unions in the region ZEWU’s position regarding Angeline Chitambo’s dismissal from the union. The massive event was attended by over 600 delegates and 83 invited guests representing various fraternal organizations from different parts of the world.
“Indeed, it was an eye opener to us to be part of such a huge indaba. We came there richer and the exchange of experiences and information with other colleagues was beneficial to us,” said Chikuni.
In a solidarity message to the congress Chikuni said the Congress was held at a time when the world of work is dominated by global capital with its insatiable appetite for profit maximization.
Workers, he said were living under the ever-looming threats and realities of overworking, under payments, retrenchments and all forms of precarious work.
“This congress gives us the platform to learn from each other’s experiences, compare notes and strategise on how best to ameliorate this global capital onslaught that treats labor as a commodity and seeks to condemn it to permanent subjugation.
The congress elected Joseph Montisetsi as president of NUM deputised by Phillip Vilakazi. David Siphumzi was re-elected as Secretary General while Makgabo Mabapa was voted deputy Secretary General.
Mpho Phakedi landed the post of treasurer-general.
South African president Cyril Ramaphosa who is one of the founding members of NUM in 1983 also attended the event and delivered a solidarity speech.