Judge bars Immigration Department from conducting hearings

BULAWAYO judge, Justice Nicholas Mathonsi on Friday ordered Immigration Department bosses to stop conducting disciplinary hearings against eight Victoria Falls workers with whom they are embroiled in a labour dispute.

BY RICHARD MUPONDE

The department had summoned eight officers to a disciplinary tribunal last week, but the officers filed an urgent chamber application at the Bulawayo High Court on Thursday.

The employees sought an order barring the employer from conducting hearings until conclusion of a pending matter before the same court, challenging their suspension as illegal and demanding their salaries.

Justice Mathonsi on Friday granted the employees temporary relief, pending determination of the case.

“Pending the determination of this matter on the return date, the applicant be and is hereby granted the following relief: The respondents be and are hereby directed to suspend proceedings with the disciplinary proceedings against the applicants in this matter before finalisation of the matter pending under HC1689/18,” Justice Mathonsi ruled.

The labour dispute began in June when Immigration Department bosses suspended the eight without salaries over alleged fraud involving visas.

However, the matter was not prosecuted for lack of evidence.

But the department extended their suspension, forcing the eight to approach the High Court seeking an order declaring their suspensions illegal and not the worth of salary stoppages.

Before the matter was heard on November 19, the employer reinstated them, but reneged on paying their dues, and instead summoned them for disciplinary hearings.

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