20 December 2012

Zimbabwe: Thursday, 20 December - Issue 493

press release

The Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) in Hwange has been ordered by the Labour Court to reinstate over 39 workers who were dismissed in 2008 on charges that they were MDC members.

The ZPC management was on 30 June 2008, forced to dismiss the 39 workers on the orders of a Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) operative Romeo Mutengwende and three Zanu PF members only identified as Muza, Muzamani and Zvidzai.

The four claimed that the 39 workers were MDC activists and should be dismissed as they were not supporting Zanu PF or attending the party's night vigils. Zanu PF and its President Robert Mugabe had been defeated in the March 2008 elections by the MDC and President Morgan Tsvangirai. The CIO operative Mutengwende was later appointed security manager at ZPC.

In a ruling made by the Labour Court on Wednesday, ZPC was ordered to reinstate all the 39 workers to their original positions without loss of salary and benefits from the date of the unlawful dismissal.

"In the event that reinstatement ordered above is no longer tenable, the respondent is ordered to pay claimants negotiable amounts of damages in lieu of reinstatement, failure of agreement, parties are given leave to approach this tribunal for assessment of such damages," part of the ruling made on Wednesday reads.

The spokesperson for the 39 employees, Tafara Nkole said the workers were satisfied with the ruling as the laws of this country had been applied fairly. "We are very happy that in Zimbabwe we now have people like our lawyers who can stand up to Zanu PF and fight for the people's rights," said a pleased Nkole.

Most of the affected were general workers.

Meanwhile, Masvingo town residents have said the move taken by council workers in attaching council property was uncalled for, since the workers are receiving their monthly salaries. The residents said the move was unnecessary and they are convinced that the move is political and meant to tarnish the image of the MDC led Masvingo Town Council by some Zanu PF aligned workers.

Last month the council workers took the council to court over the non-payment of backdated salaries and were given an order to attach council property. Masvingo Town Council employs 460 people.

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