THE appeal by Zesa Holdings against a Labour Court ruling which ordered the power utility to re-engage its 19 fired loss control officers failed to be heard yesterday after the Supreme Court noted that there was no proper return of service to the defendants’ lawyers.
SENIOR COURT REPORTER
The workers, who were based in Masvingo, had their contracts unprocedurally terminated six years ago before they appealed and won the case, prompting Zesa to take the matter to the Supreme Court challenging the Labour Court’s ruling.
The workers’ lawyer, Tichaona Marume, told the Supreme Court bench comprising of Justices Elizabeth Gwaunza, Ben Hlatshwayo and Bharat Patel, that he was seeking a postponement of the matter because he had filed belated heads of argument since Zesa had wrongfully served him with its court papers.
Zesa’s lawyer Advocate Nelson Chamisa consented to the deferment and the court eventually postponed the matter indefinitely.
According to court papers, the former Zesa employees, who are joint applicants in the matter, had been on renewable contracts since 1998.
However, due to reasons not disclosed in court papers, on June 30 2009, Zesa allegedly declined to further renew these contracts, but instead engaged a security organisation to carry out the same duties that were being carried out by the fired employees.
The matter was referred to an arbitrator who ordered Zesa to pay them cash in lieu of notice and dismissed their plea for re-engagement.
Irked by the arbitrator’s verdict, the workers launched an appeal at the Labour Court which then ruled in their favour.