7 December 2012

Zimbabwe: Conductor Reinstated

The Labour Court has ordered Kukura Kurerwa Bus Company to reinstate a conductor who was dismissed after an inspector found two passengers on a bus he was working on without tickets.

On January 3, 2011 Farai Marembo was working on a bus from Harare to Chiredzi. He allowed a passenger who did not have the fare to board the bus on condition that she surrendered her identity card to him as security that the fare would be paid in Chiredzi. There was also another passenger who did not pay his fare because he was asleep when Marembo went about asking the passengers to pay.

When the inspector came, the two passengers were found without tickets. Marembo was subsequently charged of gross negligence, found guilty and dismissed from work.

His appeal at the workplace did not succeed and he sought recourse at the Labour Court. He argued that this was not a case of gross negligence and there was no loss suffered as the passengers later paid.

On the payment of fares upon arrival, Marembo said it had been done before on authority. In response, Kukura Kurerwa said they operated on a cash basis and did not hold passengers' property as collateral. Management alleged that the gross negligence was in the sense that up to the time the two passengers had not paid their fares, they were not bona fide passengers.

Labour Court president Mr Custom Kachambwa said a case of negligence looked far fetched in the matter.

"The charge of gross negligence is not defined in the company's relevant Code of Conduct. The conduct that is defined is negligence."

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