HomeNewsAttached ZOU cars accumulate $25 000 storage fees

Attached ZOU cars accumulate $25 000 storage fees

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THE Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU) vehicles attached by the Deputy Sheriff over a labour dispute three years ago have accumulated storage charges of around $25 000 at Ruby Auctioneers in Harare.

By Everson Mushava

A NewsDay crew was shown the fast-corroding vehicles — a Mazda BT50 (ACG 2720) and two Mazda B1800 trucks (AAO 8087 and AAG 0663) — by an official at Ruby Auctioneers who revealed that each vehicle has been attracting storage fees of $7 per day since February 2012 when they were brought to the site.

The vehicles were attached after a former dean who won a labour dispute against the university managed to register an arbitration award of over $77 000.

ZOU later appealed against the execution order at the Supreme Court where Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku ordered the former dean, Gideon Magaramombe, to stop further attaching ZOU property until the distance learning institution’s appeal was determined.

In his order, Justice Chidyausiku, however, ruled that the property would remain under attachment pending ZOU’s appeal and the court’s determination of the case.

Part of Justice Chidyausiku’s November 19 judgment reads: “Accordingly, I order that the property belonging to the university remains under attachment pending determination of the appeal. The balance of convenience also favours that the university remain in possession of the attached property pending the determination of the appeal.”

The Supreme Court heard the appeal last year and reserved judgment.

Magaramombe was dismissed in September 2008 and had been battling his case since then, with the university appealing against all court rulings made in his favour.

In December 2013, ZOU’s executive council led by Christopher Samkange ruled that the university should pay Magaramombe or reinstate him, the same ruling made at the Labour Court, but the university refused to comply with the council’s resolutions.

The cash-strapped ZOU currently has several cases pending at the Labour Court.

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