ZCTU threatens legal action against Mupfumira

THE Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has threatened to take legal action against Public Service, Labour, and Social Welfare minister Priscah Mupfumira following her removal of its president Peter Mutasa from the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) board.

by XOLISANI NCUBE

Prisca Mupfumira

Prisca Mupfumira

The labour body gave Mupfumira seven days to reverse the firing of Mutasa. Mupfumira fired Mutasa from the board last week accusing him of leaking confidential information to the media.

“If we fail to hear from you, kindly note that we will petition the High Court to nullify your decision. Furthermore, we will be filing a complaint to the International Labour Organisation against the government of Zimbabwe for violating its Constitution and the principles of freedom of association to which Zimbabwe is party,” ZCTU secretary-general Japhet Moyo in a letter to Mupfumira on Monday.

Moyo yesterday said the minister had no right to remove Mutasa from the social fund board as he did not represent the interests of government, but of the workers who contribute towards the scheme.

“Let us assume there are allegations against Cde Mutasa, the law and natural justice provides that he must be given an opportunity to defend himself, but the minister did all this without consulting the workers who are the owners of the fund,” Moyo said.

“The NSSA board and government must appreciate that it is there because of workers and pensioners who contribute or contributed something, hence, all their dealings must be open to the stakeholders. As workers, we are happy with the work Cde Mutasa has been doing.”

NSSA is a statutory body established in 1989 with a mandate to administer social security public funds on behalf of about 1,3 million contributors.

NSSA administers two schemes: Pension and Other Benefits Scheme and Accident Prevention and Workers’ Compensation Scheme.

The NSSA board is currently chaired by Robin Vela, and has representatives from business and workers as contributing partners.

Although the official reason being given for Mutasa’s ouster is that of leaking information to the media, he is said to be at loggerheads with the NSSA board over some of the authority’s investment decisions, particularly the acquisition of mobile operator Telecel Zimbabwe.

NSSA provided $30 million towards the purchase of a 60% stake in Telecel Zimbabwe from Dutch-based VimpelCom.