BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
CHINESE mining firm, San He Zimbabwe, had its property attached by the sheriff after it failed to settle over US$218 970 in salary arrears and non-payment of overtime.
The mine, based in Guruve, had failed to pay workers their full salaries, forcing employees to sue and eventually winning the case.
The award was registered at the High Court, paving way for the attachment of property such as dump trucks, tractors, irrigation equipment and excavators.
After the attachment, the company, however, applied for stay of execution at the High Court, but lost the case. “Applicant became aware of draft ruling and felt it was at peace. It was served to appear before the Labour Court, but failed to do so, thinking it was at peace. (It) was served with application for registration of arbitral award, but did not file notice of opposition, thinking it was at peace,” part of the judgment read.
“Now that the property has been attached, it wants to cry foul. I uphold the point in limine that this application is not urgent. It is ironic that applicant only saw the writ of execution, but failed to see other notices of set down. The application is dismissed with costs, and without dealing with the merits,” the judgment read.
Zimbabwe Diamond and Allied Minerals Workers’ Union (Zdamwu), which represented the workers, warned mining companies against labour malpractices, saying the law would deal with them.
“Chinese chrome mine is in soup over underpayment of wages. We have attached property to recover US$219 000 or RTGS dollars equivalent,” Zdamwu general-secretary Justice Chinhema said.
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“This is a clear message to all violators of labour rights that the law will catch up with them. Zdamwu will fish you out and make you comply in a painful way. The time for corrupt employers is over. They can bribe a few individuals for protection, but when we reach you, we fish you and your protector,” he said.