HCCL or­dered to pay ex-worker $100k

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Mashudu Net­sianda Se­nior Court Re­porter

THE High Court has or­dered Hwange Col­liery Com­pany Lim­ited (HCCL) to pay its for­mer em­ployee more than $100 000 in ter­mi­nal ben­e­fits and dam­ages for un­fair dis­missal.

Mr Vin­cent Ng­wenya, in De­cem­ber 2015, won an ar­bi­tral award of $102 674, 94 against his for­mer em­ployer.

The rul­ing by Bu­l­awayo High Court judge Jus­tice Martin Makonese fol­lows a cham­ber ap­pli­ca­tion by Mr Ng­wenya for the reg­is­tra­tion of an ar­bi­tral award in terms of the Labour Act. He cited HCCL as the re­spon­dent

“It is or­dered that the re­spon­dent shall pay the ap­pli­cant $102 674,94 in three equal monthly pay­ments in terms of the ar­bi­tral award. The ar­bi­tral award of Mr Vin­cent Ng­wenya dated De­cem­ber 3, 2015 is reg­is­tered with this honourable court,” ruled the judge.

The judge said in the event that HCCL fails to com­ply with the or­der, Ng­wenya is au­tho­rised to at­tach the com­pany’s prop­erty to re­cover the money.

HCCL through its lawyers, Ma­joko and Ma­joko Le­gal Prac­ti­tion­ers, filed op­pos­ing pa­pers chal­leng­ing Ng­wenya’s ap­pli­ca­tion.

HCCL’s ac­counts and mar­ket­ing man­ager, Mr Gift Chikepe, in his op­pos­ing af­fi­davit, ar­gued that the award was be­ing chal­lenged on the ba­sis that the ar­bi­tra­tor al­lowed new is­sues which were not part of his terms of ref­er­ence.

“To al­low the ar­bi­tral award to be reg­is­tered in the cir­cum­stances would be an in­jus­tice as the ap­pli­cant would have been al­lowed to sneak in amounts which he had not orig­i­nally claimed and were not con­sid­ered in the con­cil­i­a­tion pro­ceed­ings,” said Mr Chikepe.

He said the ap­pli­cant sought to en­force what did not com­ply with reg­u­la­tions as con­tained in Statu­tory In­stru­ment 217/2013 by at­tach­ing an un­cer­ti­fied copy of the ar­bi­tral award.

“With­out the ar­bi­tral award be­ing cer­ti­fied there is no way the court can sat­isfy it­self that what is be­fore it is in­deed cor­rect,” said Mr Chikepe.

The debt rid­den coal min­ing com­pany is reel­ing un­der a se­ri­ous fi­nan­cial cri­sis re­sult­ing in some of its equip­ment be­ing sold off to set­tle long stand­ing debts.

Re­cently more than 2 500 HCCL work­ers filed an ur­gent cham­ber ap­pli­ca­tion at the High Court seek­ing to have the com­pany placed un­der ju­di­cial man­age­ment.

HCCL, which is fac­ing lit­i­ga­tion for claims run­ning into mil­lions from some of its cred­i­tors, has seen some of its as­sets auc­tioned to re­cover the debts — @ mash­nets

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