High Court re­serves coun­cil salaries judg­ment

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Mashudu Net­sianda

BULAWAYO High Court judge Jus­tice Maxwell Takuva has re­served judg­ment in the case of 12 Bulawayo City Coun­cil bosses chal­leng­ing the slash­ing of their salaries and al­lowances by the Govern­ment.

The re­duc­tion of the salaries and perks fol­lows a Min­is­te­rial di­rec­tive to ra­tio­nalise the re­mu­ner­a­tion of top coun­cil man­agers by 40 per­cent of their to­tal pack­age.

The mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s se­nior man­age­ment un­der a group­ing call­ing it­self, “The Ex­ec­u­tive Group of the Staff ”, and through its lawyers Calder­wood, Bryce Hen­drie and Part­ners, had filed an ur­gent cham­ber ap­pli­ca­tion at the High Court cit­ing Lo­cal Govern­ment, Public Works and Na­tional Hous­ing Min­is­ter Saviour Ka­sukuwere and the Bulawayo City Coun­cil as re­spon­dents.

The coun­cil bosses, through the Ex­ec­u­tive Group of the Staff chair­per­son, Macken­zie Widzani Moyo, are seek­ing an or­der in­ter­dict­ing their em­ployer from im­ple­ment­ing the July 14 res­o­lu­tion to re­duce al­lowances payable to them.

Moyo, who is also the coun­cil’s as­sis­tant di­rec­tor of Hous­ing and Com­mu­nity Ser­vices, in his found­ing af­fi­davit, said there was no le­gal ba­sis upon which the min­is­te­rial di­rec­tive was premised.

“It is our con­tention that while the Min­is­ter’s pow­ers in terms of the Ur­ban Coun­cils Act may be wide in terms of him reg­u­lat­ing the ac­tiv­i­ties of lo­cal au­thor­i­ties they how­ever, do not al­low him to take away rights the lo­cal au­thor­i­ties would have law­fully be­stowed upon third par­ties,” ar­gued Moyo.

He said the ac­tions of their em­ployer and the Min­is­ter were a vi­o­la­tion of their rights in terms of the Labour Act.

“We be­lieve these are rights that may not be taken away from us on the ba­sis of pow­ers of the Min­is­ter given to him by the Ur­ban Coun­cils Act. Clearly if on the ba­sis of any other law some­one were to say that they are en­ti­tled to take away fun­da­men­tal rights of em­ploy­ees pro­tected by the Labour Act, there would be a con­flict be­tween the Labour Act and any other such law that the per­son would be seek­ing to rely upon,” said Moyo.

He ar­gued that as a re­sult of the coun­cil’s move, they stood to be prej­u­diced of their in­come and also risked be­ing sued by cred­i­tors if their com­mit­ments were not met fully.

Kimp­ton Zenzo Ndi­mande (fi­nance di­rec­tor), Simela Dube (di­rec­tor of en­gi­neer­ing ser­vices), Spekiwa Mugiya (le­gal of­fi­cer), Dic­tor Khu­malo (as­sis­tant di­rec­tor of hous­ing and com­mu­nity ser­vices), Makhosi Tshalebwa (hu­man re­sources man­ager) and Richard Peter­son (chief fire of­fi­cer) also filed their sup­port­ing af­fi­davits con­cur­ring with Moyo.

The other bosses in­clude Masocha Mt­shena (as­sis­tant di­rec­tor of health ser­vices), Ten­nyson Mpunzi (chief in­ter­nal au­di­tor), Tha­bani Ncube (city val­uer) and Mpaza­miso Nde­bele (in­for­ma­tion and tech­nol­ogy man­ager).

Bulawayo Mayor, Mr Martin Moyo, though a let­ter dated July 13, 2016, in­structed the act­ing town clerk to im­ple­ment the coun­cil res­o­lu­tion.

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