MUTARE City Council has been ordered to reinstate 12 of its employees without loss of benefits who were unlawfully fired last year after falling out of favour with some MDC-T councillors.
REPORT BY OBEY MANAYITI STAFF REPORTER
This follows a ruling by independent arbitrator Noah Mutongoreni who on December 27 last year ruled that the workers had been unfairly dismissed.
According to the arbitration award, circumstances into the workers’ dismissal in July last year were that they had assaulted councillor Pamela Mutare on an unknown date at Mutare Civic Centre.
It was further argued that after inquiries on their fate, the 12 met councillors Morgan Chipara and Mutare along with acting mayor George Jerison who advised them to “go home and forget about regaining their employment”.
In their submissions, the affected employees, who were represented by lawyer Passmore Nyakureba, argued that if indeed they had assaulted Mutare, they ought to have been brought before a disciplinary hearing to answer charges of breaching the code of conduct.
Reads part of the award by Mutongoreni: “Wherefore after hearing this case, I make the following order: The employees were
unfairly dismissed. That the employees had legitimate expectation of being re-engaged and other persons were engaged in their stead.
“That the employees be reinstated in their jobs without loss of salary and benefits and that if reinstatement is no longer tenable that they be paid damages the quantum of which must be agreed by the parties failure of which they must approach the arbitrator.”
The three councillors — Chipara, Mutare and Jerison — are not new to controversy after they made headlines last year for causing the prosecution of Mutare Senator Keresenzia Chabuka along with six other MDC-T activists on allegations that they had assaulted Mutare at a provincial MDC-T rally.
However, the MDC-T activists were later acquitted of the charges and have since sued the trio for malicious prosecution.