He was addressing hundreds of Numsa members shortly before he was elected unopposed during the union’s four-day special national congress in Boksburg.
Chirwa said Zuma would, by calling it quits, be demonstrating that he was serious about serving the interests of the people and not just himself, and preserving Nelson Mandela’s legacy of selflessness and accountable governance.
He urged Numsa members to consider calling on Zuma to step down.
“Should we not ask our own president, Jacob Zuma, who benefited from this saga, to resign in the interest of the poor?
“Must we not ask that he resign to preserve the legacy of Nelson Mandela, who was serving the interests of our people and not himself?” Chirwa asked on Tuesday.
He replaced Cedric Gina, who resigned unceremoniously last month.
Numsa is Cosatu’s biggest affiliate by numbers, with an estimated 328 000 members.
Former president Thabo Mbeki reportedly said in an interview with a London-based TV station last week that Zuma should do the “honourable” thing by stepping down, if South Africans and the ANC party asked him to.
Suspended Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi was expected to address Numsa members on Wednesday.
This is amid speculation that Vavi could join Numsa’s mooted workers’ vanguard party if Numsa eventually breaks away from the ANC-led tripartite alliance.
Clearly, Numsa’s stance on Zuma resigning is evident.
President Zuma’s popularity is waning amongst the public.