Sibanda bounces back as new ZUJ president

Sibanda replaces Mathew Takaona, who has been at the helm of the union since 1999.

He would be deputised by the Herald’s Michael Padera who was elected

first vice president while ZBC’s Mercy Pote was elected second vice president.

Freelance journalist Foster Dongozi shall retain his post as secretary general while former ZBC staffer Vince Mugumbate was elected treasurer general.

The fresh elections, which were held at Bulawayo’s Royal Hotel, were monitored by the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN), Crisis

Coalition of Zimbabwe and National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations, among other NGOs.

The election of the new ZUJ executive is also a carbon copy of the December 4, 2009 election whose results were set aside after four Harare based freelance journalists challenged the outcome of the election. The four litigants – Godwin Mangudya, Conrad Mwanawashe, Frank

 Chikowore and Guthrie Munyuki, claimed they were not afforded an equal opportunity to contest for posts in the election.

 They further claimed they were disadvantaged by the failure by the Takaona executive to publicise the venue of the elective congress and also the identity of delegates. However, the Takaona executive did not challenge the court application, instead choosing to hold another election on February 27, 2010 which has since produced the same outcome.

The four litigants did not contest for any posts however. It has since emerged they will challenge the outcome claiming the old executive did not address issues that led to the December dispute.

The four were clamouring for a constitutional reform process to be effected before the union could commit itself into choosing its new leadership.

They are adamant the current ZUJ constitution disenfranchises the majority of the membership as it only allows branch chairpersons and
their secretaries to vote.

The constitution’s failure to provide a proportional voting system has also been cited with some media houses which employ a hundred union members ironically having the same voting voting quota with those with
only five.

Speaking from Bulawayo on Saturday, Dongozi was confident results of the rerun were the best the system could produce.

“We invited the organisations to come and observe our elections because we did not want to leave any questions as to the outcome,” he said.