Methodist Church prop­erty at­tached over labour dispute

The Manica Post - - Front Page - Cle­tus Mushanawani News Ed­i­tor

UNITED Methodist Church’s Old Mutare Mis­sion prop­erty, which in­clude ve­hi­cles, so­lar heaters and of­fice fur­ni­ture was at­tached by the Sher­iff of the High Court af­ter the in­sti­tu­tion was or­dered to pay a for­mer ad­min­is­tra­tor at its or­phan­age $36 000 fol­low­ing his un­fair dis­missal two years ago.

Mr Luke Mak­wanya who was em­ployed as the ad­min­is­tra­tor of Fair­field Or­phan­age through his Harare-based lawyers, Sawyer and Mkushi Le­gal Prac­ti­tion­ers, suc­cess­fully sued Old Mutare Mis­sion for un­fair ter­mi­na­tion of his con­tract in 2015.

He had a run­ning con­tract which was due to ex­pire in 2018, but the re­spon­si­ble au­thor­i­ties dis­missed him on three-months no­tice, which was dis­missed by the Labour Court.

Mr Mak­wanya is now be­ing owed $36 100 by Old Mutare Mis­sion.

Armed with a writ of ex­e­cu­tion, the Sher­iff of the High Court swooped on the mis­sion re­cently and at­tached the or­phan­age’s minibus, so­lar heaters, the sta­tion chair­man, Rev­erend Dr Chim­bunde’s ve­hi­cle and of­fice fur­ni­ture as well as Mu­tasa Dis­trict Su­per­in­ten­dent, Rev Mu­tidza­wanda’s ve­hi­cles. The prop­erty is be­ing stored at a ware­house in Mutare’s Nyakamete in­dus­trial area.

The church through its lawyers, Mr Web­ster Jiti of Musendekwa and Mtisi Le­gal Prac­ti­tion­ers filed an ur­gent stay of ex­e­cu­tion cham­ber ap­pli­ca­tion, Num­ber H/C 5963/17 at the High Court last Thurs­day and was dis­missed by High Court Judge, Jus­tice Amy Tsanga.

Jus­tice Tsanga ruled that the mat­ter should be filed through the nor­mal roll.

Mr Mak­wanya’s at­tor­neys, Sawyer and Mkushi Le­gal Prac­ti­tion­ers con­firmed the dis­missal of the

mat­ter and said they (Old Mutare ad­min­is­tra­tors) were just try­ing to buy time.

“Our client had a run­ning con­tract and was un­fairly dis­missed. The mat­ter was heard at the Labour Court and was struck off the roll. It was once heard at the High Court, but was re­ferred back to the Labour Court, which con­firmed that the mat­ter had been struck off the roll.

“This is the rea­son why a writ of ex­e­cu­tion was is­sued re­sult­ing in the at­tach­ment of the in­sti­tu­tion’s prop­erty. They ap­proached the High Court again and tried to mis­lead it that the mat­ter was still pend­ing at the Labour Court, but it was struck off the roll again,” said the at­tor­neys. Al­though Mr Jiti was not avail­able for com­ment as he was said to be in court, Ad­min­is­tra­tion As­sis­tant to the United Methodist Church Bishop Eben Nhi­watiwa, Rev Al­lan Gu­rupira, con­firmed the at­tach­ment of the prop­erty.

“The is­sue you are talk­ing about is still pend­ing be­fore the courts. Yes, our prop­erty was at­tached at Old Mutare Mis­sion be­cause of one in­di­vid­ual who was dis­missed from the in­sti­tu­tion. The case has been drag­ging be­fore the courts for some time now and this lat­est de­vel­op­ment has a huge bear­ing on the wel­fare of or­phans at Fair­field Or­phan­age.

The church ve­hi­cles that were at­tached by the Mes­sen­ger of Court

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