ZIMBABWE Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) employees, have through their residents association, Hatley House Residents Association (HHRA), petitioned the High Court demanding a $216 880 refund from their former employer and an order compelling the national broadcaster to transfer ownership of 54 flats into their names.
BY CHARLES LAITON
The matter is set to be heard today before High Court judge Justice Pisirayi Kwenda. In the court application HHRA cited ZBC and the Chief Registrar of Deeds as respondents.
In their court papers, HHRA chairperson Innocencia Chipameso Chitauro said she worked for ZBC until 2002 when she was retrenched together with a number of her co-workmates.
But, in or about 1997, she said “ZBC had purchased Lot 1 of stand 1787A Salisbury Township measuring 1660 square metres held under title deed of transfer number 3094/88 dated May 11, 1988 for the sum of ZW$6 million which the first defendant (ZBC) deducted from the salaries of the plaintiff’s (HHRA) members until full payment was made”.
Chitauro further said in terms of the agreement entered between the parties, ZBC was obliged to remit all rentals it would have received from the tenants, in occupation of the flats, to HHRA and was further obliged to transfer the property to the latter or its nominee.
“In breach of the agreement, the first defendant failed, neglected and/or refused to remit the rentals it received from the property to the plaintiff and to transfer the property to the plaintiff or its nominee. From February 1, 2009 to December 31, 2015 the first defendant was obliged to remit rentals in the sum of $216 880 to the plaintiff for the 54 flats on the property,” she said.
Chitauro’s evidence was buttressed by former ZBC director marketing, administration and finance, Onias Gumbo, who said he was instrumental in the establishment of an employee credit union where each employee would contribute some money every month.
“These funds assisted the first defendant in acquiring properties in Harare and other cities and some of the properties purchased in Harare include Copper Queen, Dick King Didsbury, Sendton Court and Hartley House (the property in dispute herein),” he said.
However, in its defence ZBC said the former workers should have raised the matter within three years. “The plaintiff only demanded transfer of the property on October 9, 2015 and thereafter issued summons on November 11, 2015 that is, some 17 years after the purported contract was entered into and the purchase price purportedly paid”.