13 January 2014

Tanzania: Labour Minister Charged With Breach of Labour Rules

Photo: Matthew Jordaan/World Economic Forum
President Jakaya Kikwete at the World Economic Forum in 2011.

A PERSONAL secretary, Itika Kasambala, has taken the Deputy Minister for Labour, Employment and Youth Developments, Dr Milton Mahanga, to the Commission for Mediation and Arbitration (CMA) for allegedly violating labour rules.

She is demanding from Dr Mahanga, who is also a Member of Parliament for Segerea, monetary compensation; 20m/- in general damages and other orders.

Ms Kasambala claims to have been working in the deputy minister's office at the Ukonga Constituency office, but her employment services were unceremoniously brought to an end and paid 200,000/- remunerations alone.

She claims, therefore, that such termination was unlawful. However, the deputy minister has refuted the claims in his defence. In fact he is seeking payments of 30m/- damages from the complainant because the complaint had been initiated allegedly to tarnish his reputation.

The complainant claims that she was employed by the deputy minister as her office secretary in May 2003. She further claims that she has performed her duties very well all the time. However, in June 2013, she was surprised to be notified that Dr Mahanga was going to terminate her services.

"After the respondent (Mahanga) was back from Dodoma where he had been attending Bunge sessions, the complainant approached him, requesting to know the reasons and the fate of her terminal benefits," reads part of the complaint.

Ms Kasambala, being a laywoman, sought assistance of Chodawu, who approached the deputy minister on the matter, but the latter reiterated his position and said he was preparing to pay her entitlements.

On September 14, last year, through M-Pesa, Dr Mahanga paid the complainant entitlements of 200,000/-.

It was at that point when the complainant decided to take the matter to the CMA, seeking for, among others, declaration that the termination was unfair and unlawful and that she should be paid all leave, accrued entitlements, severance allowances and certification of good services.

In his defence, Dr Mahanga claims that he never employed the complainant but she had come to his office for field attachment while attending school.

He claimed that even after completing her studies, the complainant kept going to his office though at that time there were no working tools.

Knowing that the complainant had no job, the respondent claims that he used to assist her with bus fare regularly. But in June last year, he told her that she would stop providing her the money if she would not look for a job.

The deputy minister allegedly claimed that he has other responsibilities, including assisting his voters, who also needed his support. It was at such point in time when the complainant rushed to Chodawu.

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