15 March 2014

Zambia: Dissolve FFTUZ, Demands NUMAW

NATIONAL Union of Miners and Allied Workers (NUMAW) president James Chansa says the Federation of Free Trade Unions (FFTUZ) should be dissolved for failing to audit its books of accounts.

But FFTUZ national executive secretary Lyson Mando says no amount of threats will stop the union mother body from recovering K326,000 NUMAW owes the federation in unpaid affiliation fees.

Mr Chansa said in an interview during the week that the FFTUZ should be disbanded because there was no accountability in the usage of funds.

FFTUZ has not audited its book of accounts since 2006, and NUMAW and three other affiliate unions recently announced the pulling out from the centre after accusing leaders of failing to account for funds.

Mr Mando said the union mother body could not audit its books and hold a quadrennial conference because it had no money. He accused the unions that have disaffiliated from it of owing the mother body more than K500,000.

In an interview during the week, Mr Mando said the outstanding amounts had accumulated over a period of time.

Apart from NUMAW, documents seen by the Sunday Times showed that SESTUZ owed FFTUZ K176,000 while ZUBID had an outstanding balance of K27,000.

But Mr Chansa said: "I expect Mr Mando to understand his own constitution! Since its inception, the centre has never been audited and we have been calling for this exercise."

"This (FFTUZ) is like a club where the moment you stop subscribing you automatically cease to be a member, so what money is he talking about?"

He said like other affiliates that had left, NUMAW had cited failure to audit FFTUZ's books of accounts as well as hold constitutional conferences as reasons for pulling out.

Zambia Union for Broadcasting and other Information Disseminators (ZUBID) general secretary Martin Maseka, whose union is among those that have left, rubbished reports that it owed the FFTUZ K27,000.

Mr Maseka said there were currently no records showing that the union owed some money to the centre.

"We owed them for rentals but we recently gave them the last cheque, so we are not aware about the money they are talking about," said Mr Maseka in a walk-in interview.

"For me I think these are the last kicks of the dying horse because there is no way you can run a centre without accounting for resources.

We are accountable to our members and they question us about the contribution to the centre."

Labour Minister Fackson Shamenda said he had not received any official compliant from the unions that had disaffiliated.

The minister, however, wondered how rebel unions failed to fight for the impeachment of the FFTUZ leadership if they were not happy with the leadership.

"I think those unions also have problems," Mr Shamenda said. "The (Labour) commissioner has got no power to discipline the centre and it is the responsibility of the affiliates to ensure their leaders do the right thing."

He said if the majority members were unhappy with the leadership, they would have gone ahead to form a quorum to impeach the leadership of FFTUZ.

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