Labour row rocks Zimdef

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HARARE – A labour dispute has rocked the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef) after the parastatal defied a Supreme Court order to reinstate sacked employees with full salaries and benefits.

Last week, the Court instructed Zimdef to reinstate its four managers, Tendai Tamanikwa (chief levy inspector), Frank Tinarwo (administration and procurement), Emmerson Pamire (human resources) and Tendai Mombeshora (information technology) who were fired for misconduct in 2010.

“In view of the conclusion that the proceedings conducted by the respondent (Zimdef) were null and void, the inevitable result is that the dismissals are of no force and effect by operation of law. As a consequence, the appellants are entitled to an order of reinstatement to their former positions without loss of salary and benefits,” read part of the ruling.

However, in apparent disobedience of the Supreme Court decision, Nicholas Mapute, Zimdef acting chief executive wrote letters of reinstatement to the managers but instituted new charges of misconduct on the four.

“Please be advised that in compliance with the Supreme Court judgement SC 33/13 which was delivered on 16 July 2013, you are hereby reinstated to your former position as ordered,” said Mapute in one of the letter in possession of the businessdaily.

“However, kindly note that the effective date of reinstatement is 16 July 2013 and the Supreme Court did not state that you are entitled to salaries and benefits with effect from the date of dismissal which effectively means that your reinstatement is not with retrospective effect. Consequently, no back pay salaries and benefits are payable to you,” said Mapute.

Soon after reinstating the managers Mapute informed them of their suspension from duty without pay and benefits.

He argued that Zimdef reserves the right to institute disciplinary proceedings for the same charges or different charges since the Supreme Court decision was based on procedural grounds and not merits of the case.

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