LABOUR OFFICER TOLD TO DECIDE MATTER IN A PROCEDURAL MANNER

BY JAMES MUTASA

Labour Court Judge Honourable Lillian Hove recently ruled that a draft ruling determined by Labour Officer Lilford Nhandara in a very long and winding dispute of nonpayment of housing allowances between Maranatha Ferrochrome Private limited and its former employees be remitted back to the Labour Officer for a decision in a procedurally correct manner.

Justice Hove’s ruling was delivered at a time when Nhandara had applied for confirmation of his draft ruling to the Labour Court in which he had ordered Maranatha Ferrochrome to pay its former disgruntled 221 employees their unpaid housing allowances which had baloomed to over 2 million United States dollars.

“It is therefore an acceptable principle of the law that on review, as is the case in casu, the court can remit where there are procedural irregularities for tribunal aquo to decide the matter in a procedurally correct manner,” reads part of Hove’s judgment.

“The justice of the matter,’ went on Hove, ‘demands that procedural irregularities be put right and the real dispute between the parties be dealt with.”

 Hove ads thus, “in the result therefore the court finds that the Labour Officer erred in failing to consider a preliminary issue which had been placed before it. This was a fatal irregularity and the matter must be remitted to the Labour Officer to enable him to decide the matter in a procedurally correct manner,” concluded Hove.

Antony Nyashanu, President of the National Union of Metal and Allied Industries in Zimbabwe (NUMAIZ), which represents employees in the Ferro Alloy, Motor Manufacturing, Electronics, Iron and Steel and Automotive sectors told The Worker that the dispute had dragged on for 15 years.

“The matter of unpaid housing allowances between Maranatha Ferrochrome and its former 221 employees started in 2009 and till now it is still far from reaching its conclusion. As a union we will not stop fighting for employees rights. In the Maranatha case the saddest thing is that during this legal process 7 claimants have died,” said Nyashanu.

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