Ms Fiona Magaya Acting Legal Advisor
In 1985, the ZCTU held a Congress in Mutare which congress passed a resolution to establish the Legal department. The resolution was passed after the realisation that the gains of independence in so far as promoting and protecting workers’ rights were continuously eroded by the government and employers through unjust laws and policies. The department was therefore established in 1987 to spearhead legislative reforms and policies that benefit workers and members of the society at large and to promote and defend workers’ rights. Since then, the department is very instrumental in legislative reforms and in particular labour law reforms. Legislative reform is a continuous process as workers’ needs keeps on changing because of the changes in the labour market often caused by changes in socio-economic, political and environmental changes hence the importance of the department to guard against erosion of workers’ rights.
The following people were the Legal advisors: Mr Albert Musarurwa (1987-1990) Mr Noah Marechera (1991-1998) Mr Johnlife Mawire (1998-2005) Mrs Tsitsi Mariwo Mbanje (2005-2006) Mr John Chakanyuka (2007-2008, ) and Mr Zakeyo Mtimtema (2009-2019)
The department fulfils its mandate by providing the following services:
- Giving legal advice to the ZCTU and its affiliate unions and general members
- Instituting and defending legal action on behalf of the ZCTU, its affiliate unions and members at national and international level.
- Capacity building: conducting paralegal training course to equip trade unionist with legal skills. The course mainly focuses on Constitutional Law, Labour Law, Introduction to Law, International Labour Law, Conciliation, Arbitration, Law of Evidence and Advocacy skills etc. Most of the past and current trade union leaders and some members of Parliament are graduates from the course.
- Apart from the intensive paralegal training course, the department conducts workshops/seminars for trade unionists addressing any pertinent matters that affect trade unions and for information sharing to improve trade unionists’ skills in promoting and defending their members.
- Carries out research on any important policy and legal matters to trade unions.
- Network with other progressive organisations to advance labour rights