eswuz young workers congress1

ESWUZ holds inaugural youth conference as main elective congress builds-up

By Dickson Chaeruka


The Energy Sector Workers Union of Zimbabwe (ESWUZ) has successfully facilitated its first young workers’ elective conference as the union's preparations for the main national congress gathers momentum, The Worker can report.

A total of 29 youth delegates drawn from the union's 21 branches recently convened in Vumba at Forest Hills lodges where the conference was held on 28 May.

In his official opening remarks, ESWUZ President, Admire Mudzonga said the young workers were a pivotal structure which ensures the union’s continuity and sustainability.

"The democratic principle of the union dictates that the movement should renew itself through elections from time to time. The young workers are an important structure established to advance the interests of youths in the entire energy sector in accordance with the union's vision and objectives," he added.

Mudzonga said the union, found on three principles of teamwork, transparency and justice, was to wrap up on all due elections with the main elective congress being organized in less than 3 months time.

Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) veteran educator, Tecla Masamba took the youthful delegates through a comprehensive leadership sensitization induction on the day.

“Our main thrust is at capacitating delegates to acquire the skill to foster personal mastery and transformative leadership, discuss the types of leadership with their positives or negatives, master the good governance principles and apply them in their daily duties as well as to enable the young leaders to learn how to foster a free democratic space for membership,” she said.

ZCTU National Youth Chairperson, Marvelous Tawomhera took to the stage to preside over the elections much to the jubilation of the already urge delegates to this defining moment of the conference.

On the much anticipated chairperson's position, a delegate from Chinhoyi branch, Antonate Kacholima assumed the post after garnering a total of 18 votes ahead of other contestants; Elias Matanda (Mutare) who had 11 votes and Shingai Murezva (Concession) who recorded a nil vote.

The vice chairperson's position was won by Cephas Zambuko (Mutare) with 26 votes against Passmore Kabazimu (Bindura) who attained 3 votes.

Tinashe Tsigo from Harare Branch took over the secretarial post after garnering 24 votes in a contest whereas the other two; Shylet Maponya (Chinhoyi) had 3 votes and Elijah Sithole (Chipinge) had 2 votes.

A dual contest on the vice secretary's position saw Sharon Ngwaya from Hwange branch clinching the post by 19 votes ahead of Shylet Muponya (Chinhoyi) who had 10 votes.

The delegates entrusted Clotilda Rutsaka from Masvingo branch with the young workers' purse after she won the Treasurer's post by 18 votes ahead of Carlson Mpala (Rusape) who garnered 11 votes.

On the organising secretary's post, Mercy Kasongo from Bulawayo branch won the position after attaining 16 votes against Rumbidzai Nyandoro (Kariba) who had 13 votes.

A total of two committee members were ushered in and in the first round, Shylet Maponya won the 1st committee member's post by 18 votes against Benjamin Kusereka (Mutare) who had 11 votes. David Tizora won the 2nd committee member's position after garnering 15 votes against Jabulani Nyoni who had 14 votes.

Congratulating the new office bearers, Marvelous Tawomhera hailed ESWUZ for facilitating the elective conference saying the gesture demonstrated that the union values young workers and urged the elected committee to remain disciplined, united and respect leaders as well as protocol.

“I also want to congratulate the young workers for exercising democracy in a peaceful manner. The leaders should lead as per the wish of the mass and as young workers we are a heterogeneous group that ought not to be divided on religious, political, tribal or any other discriminatory grounds,” she said.

ESWUZ general secretary, Gibson Mushunje implored the young workers to stay resolute in advancing youths interests' in the energy industry and beyond.

"As secretariat, we are fully behind the young workers cause. We look forward to vibrancy in serving your peers and the union. The Chairperson of the Youth Committee automatically becomes a member of the management committee," he said.

In her acceptance speech, the newly elected chairperson Antonate Kacholima expressed gratitude for being chosen, committing that her executive shall lead in recruitment, mobilisation and campaigns for the betterment of youths and the union at large without fear or favour.

Speaking at the same occasion, ESWUZ Treasurer General, David Malunga said the union shall continue to prioritize funding its democratic activities so as to ensure vibrancy and that the union's democratic wheels continue to spin.

"Despite of a prevailing difficult financial environment, we shall continue to sacrifice and prioritize constitutional activities to strengthen the union as well as its members down to the shop floor. As we speak, elsewhere, such conferences have not been an easy fit to implement for many democratic institutions including some unions under this economic environment." he said.

ESWUZ National Organising Secretary, Deliwe Munyongwa expressed satisfaction that the union was fulfilling its constitutional obligations by revamping its structures through elections saying it was a motivating factor to members at large.

"We are happy that today we record the young workers' conference as another fulfillment following our recent successful elective women's conference here. It is important to note that elections are a motivating activity in a democratic movement. We shall continue to organize pursuant to our objective of empowering and harnessing the entire energy sector workers into membership so as to ensure total solidarity in advancing our class interests, "she said. 

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