Briggs Zano Working People’s College

Out of the realisation that big businesses have numerous universities, colleges, think-tanks and other institutions for advancing and defending their own values and interests, has emerged the need for similar working people’s institution.

It is against this background that ZLC established the Briggs Zano Working People's College as a working class financed and controlled training institution.  The objective of the college to  equip key layers of the trade union movement and social movements including rank and file activists with adequate legal and ideological skills to capacitate them in workplace, industry and societal struggles for the betterment of the working class. 

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The college also aims to empower the social movements that the Centre has been working with over the constitutional process and elsewhere with training on the failures of neo-liberalism and anti-neoliberal alternatives based on the solidarity economy approach.

In 2010, with the assistance of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, the Briggs L. Zano Working Peoples College started its Para-Legal and Political Economy School offering a certificate and diploma in Labour Law, Labour Procedure and Political Economy. The inaugural class was made of 27 students drawn from 12 trade unions from the public and private sectors with gender and disability balance. Lecturers were drawn from experienced academics and trade unionists.

Unlike similar other programmes, students paid tuition fees for the programme.  This was to ensure medium to long term financial sustainability as well as invoke a sense of true ownership and control over the programme by participants, which does not arise in programmes which are 100% donor funded.  With the pioneering group students contributed 35% of the diploma costs and we aim to attain a 40-50% threshold in this project, and above 70% in the long term. 

The college is also actively involved with the Kempton Makamure Annual Labour Lecture and Journal run by law students at the Faculty of Law of the University of Zimbabwe. This is a lecture on key and topical issues affecting working people and labour law in a given year.

Past lectures have been given by judges from the Deputy Prime Minister, Government Ministers, Government Officials, High Court and Labour Court judges, academics as well as leading trade unionists and activists. The presentations become the centre-piece of the annual Kempton Makamure Labour Journal. From 2011 onwards the journal will also carry case reports of labour cases in the Labour Court and superior courts following an agreement with the Labour Court.

The Briggs Zano Working People's College is registered with Ministry of Higher & Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development in terms of the Manpower Planning and Development Act Chapter 28:02 and Statutory Instruments 333 of 1996 and No 26 0f 2001.


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Contact Mercy Makumbe

1st Floor, South Wing, Jubilee Centre
Cnr 5th & Livingstone Ave
Harare
Zimbabwe

+263 4 762154

zimlabour@gmail.com

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