Fresh elections for ZUJ

Harare, – The Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ) is set to hold fresh elections after realizing they will lose the case in which four freelance journalists challenged the validity of the executive elections held early this month in the High Court.

The umbrella body for journalists in Zimbabwe held its congress at How Mine outside Bulawayo without following its constitution and this has resulted in four freelance journalists, Godfrey Mangudya, Frank Chikowore, Conrad Mwanawashe and Guthrie Munyuki challenging in the High Court, the manner in which the elections were held in December.

Sources told an independent radio station that ZUJ secretary general, Foster Dongozi, sent messages to the new executive members who were elected this December to prepare for fresh elections after ZUJ lawyers advised the union that they will lose the case before the High Court.

"The Zimbabwe Union of Journalists is set to hold elections after its lawyers advised it not to contest the High Court challenge over the validity of its recently held election," one executive member elected on December 4 told Radio VOP on condition of anonymity.

"In a message to us the ZUJ executive members, secretary general, Foster Dongozi said the union would now prepare for fresh elections following legal advise from our lawyers."

ZUJ elections saw Chronicle news editor elected president while two other journalists from the state media Mercy Pote (ZBC) and Michael Padera (Herald) elected second vice presidents. Dongozi was re-elected secretary general.

Meanwhile the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) has stopped deducting its employees’ monthly subscriptions to the union citing high costs incurred in the process. A  letter is said to have been written to ZBC Pockets Hill ZUJ Branch chairperson Terrence Mapurisana advising him of the move to stop deducting USD 1 from each member every month.

The source said the move was because ZBC top management were not impressed with the outcome of the recent ZUJ election.