HCCL ordered to pay ex-worker $100k
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