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Solidarity visit by Belgian union to Zimbabwe’s electricity union

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18 April, 2013Alfons De Potter, Vice-president of CSC Belgium visited Zewu to express solidarity for union leaders that have been dismissed by the state owned ultility Zesa and to hear of the union’s plans for the future.

De Potter, who is also an executive member of IndustriALL met with senior leadership of the Zimbabwe Energy Workers Union (Zewu) together with IndustriALL regional officer, Herman Ntlatleng before touring the proposed Zewu labour college during the second week of April 2013.

De Potter and Ntlatleng then joined the union in Nyanga for a strategic planning workshop. The workshop was opened by President Angeline Chitambo; “The strategic planning workshop will help in shaping the future of Zewu….we need to leave the workshop more united and focused.”

De Potter called on Zewu to use its strategic role to ensure that the rights of workers are upheld; ““You need to know that affordable energy is vital for any economic and future development, therefore it is essential for labour unions, especially you as a strategic player to persistently fight for energy security. Zewu must continue the fight for fair working condtions.”

Addressing the workshop Ntlatleng said the union must continue until justice prevails for President Chitambo and National Executive member Dennis Mukote to be reinstated back to their respective workplaces. You must not fold hands, pretending that all is well. If you keep quite, you will be helping the employer,” he said.

Chitambo was unfairly dismissed by Zesa after being accused of addressing a press conference last July, allegedly urging workers to embark on industrial action, following a salary dispute with Zesa. Mukote was also suspended on the same charge.

Ntlatleng reported on the campaign activities carried out by IndustriALL and its affiliates in the region and abroad against the suspension of Zesa workers and the dismissal of the union leaders.