By JOHN KOMBE
The merging of three teachers unions to form the Zambia Teachers Union (ZATU) is mockery of the worst kind and cannot go without condemnation as it was not based on member consultation, Teachers Revolutionary Movement national chairman, Steward Bwembya has said.
Mr. Bwembya, who is the leader of a national teachers’ pressure group, described the merger of the three unions as the worst chaos and anarchy.
The three unions are SESTUZ, NUPPEZ and ZNUT.
He doubted the genuineness of the move as other teacher unions were not part of the merger.
Mr. Bwembya said that this was high level confusion that must not be condoned and that the teacher members were not even consulted and as such described the merger as illegitimate.
He argued that the claim by ZATU that they had consulted all provincial leaders was not true as the so-called provincial leaders had not consulted the teachers.
Mr. Bwembya wondered how the three unions could rush into merging before they are dissolved. He said that the unions were supposed to dissolve before they could merge.
He described the announcement by the new union leaders as illegal and insisted that the new union has no blessings of the teachers until it satisfies the requirements of the labour laws.
He said that the merger seems suspicious as the other four unions had refused to subscribe to the decision.
Mr. Bwembya insisted that all the seven unions must dissolve so that teachers are consulted before any merger is done.
Mr. Bwembya said that the teachers’ movements and pressure groups will continue to lobby for the dissolution of the seven unions so that a legitimate union can be formed.
Meanwhile, ZNUT secretary general, Newman Bubala insisted that the decision was arrived at in the best interest of the teachers.
He said that the merging of the three unions was meant to form one strong teachers’ union.
Mr Bubala thanked the three unions which had seen a need to have one strong teachers union that would speak with one voice and represent the teachers effectively.