MUTARE City Council risks having two of its vehicles, including a mayoral vintage car, placed under the hammer this week over a $1 500 debt arising from the unfair dismissal of former general hand Tichaenzana Maita.
The vehicles, a Mazda pick-up truck and the mayoral vintage car, were attached by the Deputy Sheriff last week after Maita won an arbitral award following his unlawful dismissal in July 2012.
Maita was employed as a contract general hand, but his contract was not renewed in 2012.
In January 2013, independent arbitrator Noah Ariel Mutongoreni ruled that, Maita, who used to earn $250 per month, was entitled to $1 500.
Mutongoreni said Section 12 B (3)(b)(i) and (ii) of the Labour Act stated that an employee would be deemed unfairly dismissed if they had a legitimate expectation of re-engagement .
“Wherefore after hearing this case, I make the following order that the employee was unfairly dismissed and hence must be reinstated on his job without loss of salary and benefits and if reinstatement is no longer tenable that he be paid damages amounting to $1 500,” the arbitration award read.
It also directed both parties to share costs.
The cash-strapped Mutare City Council has been struggling to fund its salary bill for the past three years and has embarked on a staff downsizing programme targeting contract workers.
Recently, Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo advised the city to employ robust measures to ensure that its wage bill does not exceed the money set aside for service delivery.