AT LEAST 17 workers fired from the MDC-T at the height of factional fights between party leader Morgan Tsvangirai and fired secretary-general Tendai Biti won their case and were reinstated with full salaries and benefits.
BY MOSES MATENGA
According to the ruling by the labour court, former party director-general Toendepi Shonhe and 16 other workers will have to receive salaries and benefits from the date of their unfair dismissal.
However, the court ruled that if the relationship was now untenable, the workers would receive damages as agreed by the two parties.
“Having taken into consideration the law facts, submissions and mitigation in this matter, it is the tribunal’s view that: it is hereby ordered that the claim of unfair dismissal is upheld and I order that the respondent reinstate the claimants with full salary and benefits from the date of the unfair dismissal and if the employment relationship is no longer tenable, damages as mutually agreed between parties, in lieu of reinstatement,” the order read.
“Parties may submit themselves for quantification of damages if not resolved. The claimants to meet full costs of arbitration fees as determined before the conciliation officer.”
In their court papers, the workers, who were employed in several departments by the MDC-T, said they were unlawfully dismissed from work and failed to agree with their employer on settlement.
They claimed that they were violently barred from attending duty by violent MDC-T youths at Harvest House who accused them of aligning themselves with Biti.
“It was submitted that the claimants stopped reporting for duty in February 2014. It was further alleged that the claimants were chased away after a fall out between the then secretary general of the MDC-T Tendai Biti and respondent’s loyalists. It was further submitted that violence was used to root out those considered to be loyal to Biti,” the order said.
The workers said there was no disciplinary action taken against them and efforts to engage then acting secretary-general, Tapiwa Mashakada, hit a brick wall.