To ZCTU Secretary General Mr.Japhet Moyo
On the 27th of September 2012, I received a complaint letter from Cde Japhet Moyo, on a Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) letterhead, authenticating it to be disseminating ZCTU views and position pertaining to constructive criticism I made on my BLOG, the Vuvuzela Times. I deduced one basic and worrying point from the tone of this letter: ZCTU is now in a drive to stifle freedom of expression, civic commentary and withdrawing into shellshock.
It is worrying to note this sad development given the imperative fact that the trade union has been in the past the doyen of free expression, champion of free association and proponent of free choice as noted by how it played the midwifery role in the birth of a very strong and dynamic labour back movement, then the MDC.
From time immemorial, the activities of the ZCTU, were synonymous with the struggles of the peasants, the working class, the students, the weak in the society, the suppressed and those that are at the lower ebb of the socio-political and economic ladder. This was made possible due to the deliberate efforts of the leadership at the ZCTU then to provide strong vision and leadership through the creation of a platform that enhanced the critical pillars of such struggles as: freedom of assembly; freedom of association; freedom of expression and above all being at the epic-centre of collective bargaining on behalf of the suffering and toiling workers.
Having note the forgoing and having contextualized the issue at hand let me make these take-home points for the ZCTU leadership and the authors of the ill fated 27 September letter addressed to my person.
1. The ZCTU should move away from this elitist approach of focusing on writing letters in their air-conditioned boardrooms targeting people offering them free advice that is second to none such as my comments on my blog.
2. The ZCTU is not a private company that enjoys managing the public relations for narrow personal ends. It is OUR organization, the workers and the children of the suffering masses, hence we are the critical stakeholders who must be treated with respect and dignity when we make commentary on the well being of our institution.
3. When the leadership is weak, or is lacking, there is no room for blame shifting for such leadership deficiencies. Face the challenges and address them instead of seeing shadows from any constructive commentary.
4. The ZCTU should not be seen to be promoting internal cannibalism, through taking us back to stone age periods were criticism is viewed at enmity, deviousness and evil-some. Instead it should be viewed as an opportune moment of introspection and shaping a refined road back to the hey days when the labour movement was viewed as the centre for socio-political and economic struggles.
5. The ZCTU (hyena) should not accuse its kids of smelling like goats when it wants to devour them. As a proud son of the ZCTU, I hold no ulterior motive except seeing to it that the organization is stronger and regains its lost voice of being the centre for national mobilization. During my time as the National Spokesperson of ZINASU, I worked hard with ZCTU and NCA is ensuring that there was the general appreciation that ZCTU is the MOTHER of ZINASU (STUDENTS) and that NCA is the constitutional arm of the suffering parents and students. This has been the reality and gospel unless it’s about to change now? If it’s changing, then I will be the first person to inform you that I will not want to waste my time on you and your “name” and the future of such a private set up.
6. We don’t believe in the current thinking at the leadership that believes when there is a misunderstanding the best option is to rush to laws levelling criminal charges against online media activism. If you felt harmed in any way you are free to approach the VOLUNTARY MEDIA COUCIL OF ZIMBABWE (VMCZ) which your institution subscribes to as noted by adverts in your paper, THE WORKER.
I would like to remind you that the workers of Zimbabwe are not bothered about this exchange of letters, engagement of lawyers over letters, accusations of this and that and boardroom meetings. They want the tangible results of seeing their salaries increased, better working conditions, reductions in the cannibalistic taxation system and better relations between employer and employee.
I therefore make the following immediate recommendations:
1. Take an active role in ensuring that the biggest employer in Zimbabwe, the Government pays its employees, the civil servants better salaries and awards them their bonus as due.
2. Make concerted efforts towards dragging the employer and government to the negotiation table for improved working conditions
3. Be vocal on the workers’ than writing letters to me.
Having said all these things I wouldn’t want to waste my productive time through sitting down and responding to any communication from your office.
Mr Secretary General, I hope NOT to hear from you again on such issues or any related to the same.
Your Revolutionary Comrade,
Blessing “Vuvuzela” Vava