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Divided Zimbabwe Civil Servants Fight Over Apex Council Candidate

  • Jonga Kandemiiri

Barely a day after staging an hour-long protest against the government for failing to increase their salaries, Zimbabwe civil servant unions were battling each other Wednesday over leadership of their umbrella body, the Apex Council.

Tensions were already simmering even as they united in Tuesday's march demanding a salary hike.

Some unions falling under the Apex Council, notably the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe and the Teachers Union of Zimbabwe, are against the appointment of one Cecilia Alexander as the Apex Council's new chairperson.

She was set to take over Wednesday from outgoing chair Tendai Chikowore whose term of office expired in February. Alexander was secretary general Chikowore's outgoing Apex Council executive.

The PTUZ and the ZTU do not want Alexander to head the union saying as an outgoing secretary general, she should give the opportunity to new faces.

Unions in the Apex Council rotate the chairmanship post, so it is now the PSA's turn to second its candidate but other unions do not agree with its choice of Alexander.

Chikowore’s should have handed over to Alexander and her team Wednesday but in-fighting and squabbles made it impossible.

Teachers Union of Zimbabwe chief executive officer Manuel Nyawo says they are rejecting Alexander because they are tired of having "recycled leaders".

General secretary Raymond Majongwe of the PTUZ agrees with Nyawo, adding they are not against the PSA’s chairmanship, but its choice of candidate.

Zimbabwe Teachers Association chief executive officer Sifiso Ndlovu says his organization will not interfere with the running of the PSA, whose secretary, Emmanuel Tichareva, told VOA a meeting would soon be called to discuss the divisive issue.

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