Red­cliff mu­nic­i­pal­ity sued for $1m over salary ar­rears

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - Business News - Michael Magoronga Mid­lands Correspondent

THE case in which Red­cliff mu­nic­i­pal­ity work­ers are su­ing their em­ployer for $1 mil­lion in salary ar­rears has spilled into the Supreme Court after the lo­cal au­thor­ity ap­pealed against the ex­e­cu­tion or­der granted by the High Court last week.

Red­cliff had to pro­duce the ap­pli­ca­tion in the 11th hour to bar the work­ers, un­der the Zim­babwe Ur­ban Coun­cil Work­ers Union (ZUCWU), who were armed with the ex­e­cu­tion writ granted by the High Court, from at­tach­ing prop­erty on Mon­day.

The work­ers through lawyer Mr Artwell Chi­na­matira of Mashan­yare and Mavhiringidze Le­gal Prac­ti­tion­ers were granted the or­der by Bu­l­awayo High Court Judge Jus­tice Martin Makonese on 4 Oc­to­ber fol­low­ing the lo­cal au­thor­ity’s fail­ure to own up to salary ar­rears of $1 116 530 back­dat­ing to 2012.

The work­ers were also granted an­other ar­bi­tral award against their em­ployer in 2015 which the coun­cil failed to hon­our, lead­ing to the dis­grun­tled work­ers to take the mat­ter to the High Court. Red­cliff Mayor Coun­cil­lor Freddy Ka­puya con­firmed the de­vel­op­ments say­ing there were some grey ar­eas that needed iron­ing out.

“It is not like we are re­fus­ing to pay the work­ers, but there are some is­sues that need to be at­tended to be­fore we come to a point where we can re­ally look into the mat­ter,” said Clr Ka­puya.

Chief among them, he said, was that some work­ers were in pos­ses­sion of house stands, houses and plots that they re­ceived from the lo­cal au­thor­ity after ne­go­ti­a­tions as part of the salaries.

“As we all know, the econ­omy is bad and we as coun­cil are not spared, some work­ers were given stands, houses and plots upon re­quest after they dis­cov­ered the eco­nomic hard­ships, so such is­sues need to be looked at be­fore we pro­ceed with the pay­ments,” he said.

Ac­cord­ing to the ap­peal by the lo­cal au­thor­ity filed by its le­gal rep­re­sen­ta­tives Wil­mot and Benet Le­gal Prac­ti­tion­ers, Red­cliff ar­gues that Jus­tice Makonese mis­di­rected him­self when he came up with the or­der.

“Take note that ap­pli­cant appeals against the whole fi­nal and de­fin­i­tive judge­ment of High Court of Zim­babwe per Mr Jus­tice Makonese in case HC 2434/17 is not nec­es­sary.”

“The judge mis­di­rected him­self at law and in fact reg­is­tra­tion of an ar­bi­tral award in cham­bers with­out hear­ing both par­ties or re­fer­ring the mat­ter to be op­posed,” fur­ther reads the ap­peal.

A man car­ries a sack full of empty plas­tic bot­tles col­lected from Bu­l­awayo City Cen­tre which he sells to peo­ple for re­use at Renk­ini Bus Ter­mi­nus. On a good day he says he makes about $15

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