By Admore Marambanyika
Union treasures have been trained on ways to stem corruption and financial mismanagement to improve union functionality and sustainability at a recent workshop held in Macheke.
The ZCTU engaged the union treasurers as the custodians of union funds to sensitise and orient them on Corruption, Fraud and Bribery, Internationally Acceptable Standards and Ethical Financial Management Systems. It also sought to popularise the ZCTU Anti- Corruption Policy adopted by the General Council in December 2022, to discuss Whistle Blower Protection and engage on possible strategies that unions can take to advocate for sectoral CBAs and national laws that encourage reporting fraud without fear.
Speaking at the workshop, ZCTU Treasurer General, Douglas Chiradza said fraud was an obstacle in the development of organisations and unions alike.
“The labour movement is seized with the anti-corruption mantra just like any other organisation in the country. Today we are gathered as a follow up to our anti-corruption policy that we formulated last year…. In law, fraud is the intentional deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain, or to deprive a victim of a legal right. Fraud can violate civil law or criminal law, or it may cause no loss of money, property, or legal right but still be an element of another civil or criminal wrong,” he said.
Chiradza added that fraud was fast becoming a vice with potential to seriously hamper the growth and trustworthiness of our unions.
“We have noted several workers and unionists being charged and dismissed from employment over fraud issues. Today is a great day because we are speaking on anti-fraud to the custodians of our unions’ purses. As the overseers of union finances you are the first line of defence against fraud but you are also potentially the first perpetrators. As labour we must actively promote an anti-fraud culture in our internal systems, among officials, external collaborators, cooperating partners and other civic partners. We are duty bound as social partners to demand a corrupt free environment in Zimbabwe,” he said.
He urged unions to be transparent with workers’ subscriptions and avoid all form of corruption because they eventually work against the sustainability and trustworthiness of unions from members and partner organisations.
“We must seek to promote transparency in everything we do as trade unionists and indeed as a country. Transparency ensures that information is available that can be used to measure the authorities’ performance and to guard against any possible misuse of powers. In that sense, transparency serves to achieve accountability, which means that we can be held responsible for our actions,” he said.