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ZUJ Presidential Race: It’s time to take the union back to basics says Manzini

ZUJ Presidential Race: It’s time to take the union back to basics says Manzini

Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ) presidential hopeful Lynette Manzini says she wants to take the union back to basics if she gets elected this Friday.

ZUJ which is a union that represents journalists in Zimbabwe is holding elections to elect new leadership.

Various candidates have expressed interest in taking up the leadership of the union, with the race for the position of president drawing a lot of interest.

At the time of writing, the exact number of candidates eying the top position is not yet known, as the union has not published the list.

However, Tambaoga Gora (ZBC), Farai Gwaze (ZBC), Godfrey Mtimba, and Lynette Manzini have circulated their campaign posters on various social media platforms.

In an interview, Lynette Manzini who is currently the only female candidate eying the post said she wants to transform the union so that goes back to the basics of representing the interests of journalists.

‘’I decided to throw my hat into the ring to participate in the August 2022 ZUJ elections because we want to take the union back to the basics, to focus on better wages, protecting the right to information, and the right to freedom of speech because if we don’t have access to information and freedom of speech, we have no journalism to talk about and we cannot do our job. We cannot inform, educate, and entertain society,’’ she said.

Welfare of journalists

According to Manzini what is important now is to look at the issue of welfare of journalists and see if they are able to take care of themselves and their families while they are busy informing and educating the nation.

She said there must be a minimum wage or minimum contributor fees agreed upon between the union and employers.

‘’The media has a role to report on teachers, nurses, and doctors who are struggling with their salaries issue, but nobody represents us, but we want to change that.

‘’We want to come together, when I become president with the support of the members, we will work to try and speak to employers so that we can have a minimum wage.

‘’We are also looking forward to setting up a national employment council for journalists where at least the issue to do with remuneration is really looked at because as it stands everybody just pegs their salaries or contribution fees whoever they want.

‘’So, we want a uniform industry that really understands that journalists are human beings who need to take care of their families,’’ she said.

Manzini also wants to tackle the issue of sexual harassment in the media industry arguing that it has led to a lot of women abandoning the industry.

She said sexual harassment in as much as it is not only happening in the media industry, but it also cannot be tolerated and should not be given room to thrive.

Sexual harassemnt

‘’I also want to look at this because there are a lot of women who end up leaving the industry because of sexual harassment and its not like it only happens in the media industry, but it is happening elsewhere as well, but we don’t need it and we need to work together to get rid of it,’’ she said.

With regards to being the only female candidate contesting for the post several males who have been in the industry for many years, Manzini said it is a bit intimidating, but she is not losing sleep over it.

She said she is it to win it and bring the deserved change and to show the world that what men can do, women can do also.

‘’It is kind of intimidating because the majority of people contesting are people who have been in the industry way before me, but I am confident that I can bring the change to ZUJ.

‘’We want transparency in this organisation, yes there are a lot of male candidates out there but what a man can do, a woman can do too and it’s important for me to run in this race because we want a union that is inclusive.

‘’There are certain things that people were complaining about, the lack of transparency in the organisation and there are certain aspects of including online content creators into ZUJ because we have gone digital.

‘’The world has gone digital and ZUJ did not look at this before, so we need to also become a progressive union. So, while I can feel a little bit intimidated, but I am in it to win it,’’ she said.

 ZUJ Presidential Race: It’s time to take the union back to basics says Manzini

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