THE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) has been ordered to pay over $400 000 in outstanding salaries and terminal benefits to 12 employees that were unlawfully fired in December 2010.
BY ALOIS VINGA
High Court judge Justice Makoni made the ruling last week after the workers sought registration of their arbitral award granted by the Labour Court in 2013.
The dispute between Zimra and the employees arose in December 2010 when the employees were suspended and charged of misconduct for sharing pornographic material using the company’s email account.
On January 2011, the employees through their lawyers approached the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Services seeking conciliation on the basis of allegations of unfair labour practice in that the company had laid a blanket charge on them.
The matter was conciliated and a settlement was not reached, prompting the matter to go for arbitration. In passing the arbitral award on June 3 2013 arbitrator George Nasho declared that the charges levelled against the workers were illegal since they were derived from the employer’s code of conduct and were also calculated to victimise the employees’. The arbitrator then ruled that the employees be paid a sum to the tune ofS$414 362,52 which covered outstanding salaries and terminal benefits.
However, Zimra appealed to the Labour Court in early 2013 arguing that the arbitrator had trivialised the weight of its code of conduct since the offence that had been committed was dismissible. Zimra also argued that the employees had to be cleared of the misconduct charge before being paid their dues.
The Labour Court then dismissed the case, prompting Zimra to issue a notice of appeal to the Supreme Court.
But it turned out that the tax collector had failed to appeal within the prescribed time frame.
Zimra trade union’s lawyer Rodgers Matsikidze represented the workers.