BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
FORMER Marange Resources employees have taken their ex-employer to court over unpaid pensions amounting to $131 563.
Marange Resources is being represented by its director Francis Gudyanga.
The former employees accused the diamond mining company of deducting money from their salaries as pension contributions, but failed to remit it to the Mining Industry Pension Fund.
Gudyanga, who is charged with contravening the Labour Act, yesterday pleaded not guilty when he appeared before magistrate Victoria Mashamba.
He filed an application for exception to the charges, saying they were based on facts which have been determined by the High Court in civil proceedings.
But the State, represented by Idah Maromo, challenged Gudyanga’s application, saying the Criminal Court does not require an order of the High Court or Labour Court to first make a finding that there has been unfair labour practice.
The magistrate postponed the ruling on the application to May 2.
It is alleged that during the period extending from April 2010 to December 2015, Marange Resources was deducting sums of money from 17 complainant’s salaries on a monthly basis in the form of pension contributions.
The State alleges that Marange Resources was supposed to remit $131 563 to the Mining Industry Pension Fund on behalf of the complainants.
The court heard that upon termination of the complainants’ employment contracts, the mining industry could not pay pension benefits because Marange Resources was not remitting anything to the Mining Industry Pension Fund.
The State alleges the total prejudice to the complainants is US$131 563,54 and nothing was recovered.