The High Court has ordered the cash-strapped Redcliff Municipality to pay its suspended town clerk Trust Sengwayo, $18 000 and two 4 500 square-metre stands in salary arrears.
Sengwayo, a Harare-based lawyer, was suspended by the municipality on allegations of abuse of office and facilitating deals that had allegedly “doomed” the council.
The town clerk courted controversy after he allegedly sold over 200 hectares of land in the small mining town to Harare businessman Phillip Chiyangwa.
Sengwayo said he sold the large tracts of land to Chiyangwa to help the municipality pay its disgruntled workers. He argued that there was nothing sinister about the transaction.
Sengwayo took his case to the Labour Court complaining that the municipality was not paying his salary, in breach of conditions stated in his suspension letter.
According to court papers, council was ordered to pay Sengwayo his benefits, including the stands.
Council apparently ignored the Labour Court ruling, with which the High Court has now ordered compliance.
The town clerk was suspended in December 2009 with full benefits and allowances.
“When the allowances were not paid, Sengwayo approached the labour officer for redress. The labour officer dealt with the matter in accordance with Section 93 of the Labour Act,” the court papers read.
The findings were that council violated the terms of its own letter of suspension and the certificate of settlement.
“In the result, it is ordered that respondent be and is hereby ordered to pay applicant his suspension benefits for the period December 2009 to March 2010.
“For avoidance of doubt, the following is what is to be paid: salary from December 2009 to March 2010 at $3 010 per month that translates to $9 030 and included 70 litres per week for 12 weeks that add up to $1 008.”
Airtime benefits translated to $420 while his home telephone allowance was $1 200, a motor vehicle allowance of $3 600 and educational benefits of $2 000.
In total, the municipality was ordered to pay $18 210.
The order to pay Sengwayo the $18 000 comes at a time the municipality is reportedly paying its workers an average monthly wage of $20 due to financial constraints.