19 November 2012

Zimbabwe: Zimphos Ordered to Reinstate Electrician

A Zimbabwe Phosphate Industries' worker, who was fired for reportedly participating in an illegal strike, has won his case for reinstatement after the Labour Court quashed the company's decision. Mashoko Chinata had worked as the company's electrician for 26 years. He was accused of leaving his workstation to join other workers who gathered at Mutondo Square protesting over low salaries. He was charged with participating in an unlawful collective job action. Chinata was convicted and subsequently fired. He unsuccessfully appealed to the firm's general manager and the NEC.

Chinata then appealed to the Labour Court arguing that the NEC appeals committee did not investigate origins of the job card, which clearly showed how he performed his duties on the day in question. He further argued that there was error in failing to consider that he had served Zimphos for 26 years without being charged of any misconduct. Labour Court president Ms Bridget Chivizhe noted that evidence presented did not prove the offence of participating in an "unlawful job action" as defined in Section 2 of the Labour Act. Further, there was no evidence adduced to show Chinata was part of the group of workers gathered at Mutondo Square, said Ms Chivizhe. "All the witnesses had testified that he was not part of the gathering. Even if it was to be found that he was part of the gathering, no evidence has been established to show the gathering was unlawful."

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