Friday 16 December 2022

Brief Profile Of Newly Elected ZCTU President Blake Mulala And Secretary General Joy Beene

Joy Beene (left), Joseph Chewe (middle)
and Blake Mulala (right)
By Paul Shalala

Congratulations to Mr. Blake Mulala and Mr. Joy Beene who have been elected President and Secretary General respectively, for the Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU).

ZCTU is the mother body of the labour movement in Zambia, it is also the voice for the workers.

As President and Secretary General, these two will be the face of the labour movement and their job will be to fight for the workers' rights and privileges.


Mr. Blake Mulala is the President of the Grain and Meat Workers Union of Zambia.

This is a union which was formed and registered in 2006 to represent workers in the Grain and Meat industry on industrial and labour related maters.

I know most people may not know this union because it is not very vocal like BETUZ, SESTUZ, CSAWUZ and others but it's there.

Mr. Mulala, who is 52 years old, started his unionism at Twikatane Farm Products in Barlastone Park near Eden University in Lusaka. 

He used to advocate for better working conditions for his fellow employees despite there being no union at the farm.

His fellow workers nicknamed him Workers Spokesperson.

Mr. Mulala served as Dispatch Supervisor at Twikatane Farm Products from 1995 to 1998.

The following year, he joined Zambeef Products PLC were he works up to today.

As a Unionist, he served in various positions having started as a Shop Steward, Branch Chairman, Vice President and subsquently voted to the position of President of the Grain and Meat Workers Union of Zambia in 2013.

Mr. Mulala was born and grew up in Kalabo District in Western Province.

He did his Primary School at Mutala in Kalabo and proceeded to Kalabo Secondary School and later to the prestigious Kambule Boys Secondary School in Mongu.

Mr. Mulala holds a Diploma in Business Administration and Management from the Institute of Commercial Management in the United Kingdom.

His election as ZCTU President yesterday was not his first attempt.

In 2014, he contested as ZCTU President and he lost by a paltry 20 votes to Nkole Chishimba, who was President for the Mine Workers Union of Zambia..

In 2018, he again gathered courage and stood for the same position.

This time, the government machinery moved in as Mr. Mulala was a fierce and vocal critic of the I'll fated Bill 10.

Mr. Mulala was disqualified by the Labour Commissioner and he didn't contest the elections at the ZCTU Quadrannual Conference which gave Mr. Nkole Chishimba a second term as President.

Four years later, the man they disqualified is the new ZCTU President.



Joy Beene is a 48 year old medical practitioner who is employed by the Ndola Teaching Hospital on the Copperbelt.

He holds a Diploma in Biomedical Science from Evelyn Hone College and a Bachelor of Public Administration (with merit) from the prestigious University of Zambia.

Mr. Beene with his supporters
He started his unionism at the hospital were he served as Ndola Branch Chairman for the Civil Servants Union of Zambia (CSUZ).

In 2004 he enrolled at Evelyn Hone College in Lusaka were he went to study Biomedical Science.

With the unionism blood in him, he attempted to contest as President for the Evelyn Hone College Students Union (EHCOSU) in 2005 but he lost.

The following year, he didn't give up, he attempted again and he won with a landslide.

Joy Beene led the union as President for a year and we used to call him "Mature PG (President General)."

In that same year, I had been elected Publicity Secretary for the Evelyn Hone College Students Electoral Commission.

So we handled the elections which ushered him in office, I remember my comrade Lumpa Mubanga was the Commission Chairman.

In 2007, I was elected Electoral Commission Chairman, a position I held until I left the college at the end of the year.

Back to Joy Beene, after he left college in 2006, he went back to the Copperbelt were he continued serving as Ndola Branch Chairman for CSUZ.

In 2010, Mr. Beene made history as he was elected General Secretary for the Civil Servants and Allied Workers Union of Zambia (CSAWUZ), which had just been rebranded from CSUZ.

He made history because his election was unprecedented, he jumped the Provincial structure and went straight to the National Secretariat in Lusaka.

He held that position for eight years until 2018 when he was elected Deputy Secretary General in charge of Finance at the Zambia Congress of Trade Unions.

This is the position Mr. Beene held until yesterday when ZCTU members elected him ZCTU Secretary General at the Quadrennial Conference in Livingstone.

At the international level, Mr. Beene is the Deputy President for the SADC Region for the International Trade Union.

He was elected in that role in November 2022.

He is a spiritual man, a family man and a committed Seventh-Day Adventist.

When he was at Evelyn Hone College, he served as Vice Youth Leader at Evelyn Hone SDA Company in 2005 and the following year he was elected as our Youth Sponsor.

This is the Joy Beene I know from at a personal level.


  1. Joy been this is great I was in his compaign team at Evelyn hone

  2. Congratulations Joy beene , happy for you

  3. Wonderful article

  4. All the way Munyina, sour higher and higher like a young eagle......

  5. We needed this biography before ZCTU elections but thank God as his campaign Team we delivered

  6. We campaign for Joy Beene and Blake Mulala at the just ended ZCTU elections, these men will push congress to greater heights and congress has a bright future.