Blessings Mashaya 23 May 2017
HARARE – Opposition legislators have blasted Public Service minister
Prisca Mupfumira over the expulsion of Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions
(ZCTU) president Peter Mutasa from the National Social Security Authority
Mutasa was fired for allegedly failing to uphold confidentiality of the
MDC House of Assembly representative for Bulawayo Central Dorcas Sibanda
grilled Mupfumira in Parliament last week, questioning her why Nssa board
members were being fired without good reason.
“Is it government policy or is it in the ministry’s policies that board
members are removed from the board because they belong to certain
organisations? The reason why I am asking this question is because of the
ZCTU president who is being removed from the Nssa board. Why is he being
removed from the Nssa board?” she queried.
However, Mupfumira argued that she reserved the right to appoint or fire
“It is government policy that boards are appointed and removed by a
minister. It is also in the Nssa Act that the board is tripartite;
workers, employers and government. It is also a normal board requirement
that confidentiality is kept within a board,” she said.
“In terms of the Act, if a member carries acts of misconduct, the minister
can remove the member. It is not our policy to discriminate against any
trade union. If we remove any member, we will request that particular
organisation to give us new names, which is the normal procedure and that
is what we will do,” Mupfumira said.
Relations between government and ZCTU were strained after the union,
together with 40 other civil society groups, spearheaded the formation of
MDC in 1999.
The opposition party’s top leadership came from the labour movement.
MDC legislator for Kuwadzana East Nelson Chamisa alleged Mupfumira
violated International Labour Organisation (ILO) statutes by removing the
ZCTU president from the Nssa board.
“My supplementary question has to do with the rights that are in the
Constitution, particularly Section 65 (2), that trade union leaders are
supposed to be protected,” the MDC vice president said.
“This is not just a constitutional right but it is also a right that flows
from ILO statutes that we are part to as member countries. Are we not
violating the rights of a trade union leader who is legitimately
exercising his responsibilities in terms of the law?” he questioned.
But Mupfumira argued there are certain regulations imposed on any board
“If a board member carries acts of misconduct, if he does not work well
within the board, the minister is at liberty to remove the board member.
“It is not employment. ILO – we are talking about employment. Boards are
at the pleasure of whoever the appointing authorities are,” she said.