BULAWAYO – The High Court has ordered the Hwange Colliery Company Limited (HCCL) Local Board to pay Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef) more than $600 000 it failed to remit in levies from its assessed wage bill accrued over a two-year period.
This follows an application by Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development minister Jonathan Moyo, who last month sought a default judgment against the coal mining company.
“It is ordered that judgment be and is hereby granted against that defendant (HCCL) for payment of $644 695,71 being balance of levy due for the period from January 2014, to October 2015,” ordered Judge Justice Nicholas Mathonsi.
In terms of section 3 of the Manpower Planning and Development Act, the minister is empowered to impose levying on every employer under Statutory Instrument (SI) 74 OF 1999.
The levy is only payable to Zimdef.
The minister in his summons, filed through lawyers, Dube-Banda, Nzarayapenga and Partners, said the coal mining giant has continuously neglected or refused to settle the debt despite demand.
“From the period of January 2014 to October 2015, the defendant did not remit its full levy due on a monthly basis as required by the regulations,” said the minister.
According to the court papers, the minister delegated Zimdef levy inspectors to assess HCCL wage bills, payrolls and other financial statements for that period during which a sum of $644 695,71 was arrived at as the balance of levy due and surcharges.
In terms of the Manpower Planning and Development Act as read in conjunction with section 3 of the Manpower Planning and Development (Levy) Notice SI 74 of 1999, every employer is obliged to pay a levy of 1 percent of their total assessed wage bill and other leviable benefits on employers and directors on or before the first day of each month.
Section 5 of the Manpower Planning and Development (Levy) Notice SI 74/1999 empowers Zimdef to impose a 10 percent surcharge on overdue levy.