Zimbabwe: Chitungwiza Municipality’s labour cases continue to increase, with monthly obligations as a result of rulings in favour of former workers hovering around $88 000.
According to a Chitungwiza human resources department monthly report for January, council was forced to make payment plans on 114 cases consisting of High Court and arbitral awards.
“There is a cumulative figure of 114 cases in which council has entered into payment plans. Two new payment plans were recorded during the month under review,” reads the report.
“This figure includes 26 court awards that are in favour of employees. There is a monthly obligation in excess of $88 000 that should be paid to former employees that relate to these payment plans and court awards.”
The report also indicates that most of the cases that were ruled in favour of former employees were in relation to non-payment of salaries and terminal benefits following employees’ termination of contracts.
“Forty-eight cases were being handled by the head human resources, whilst council lawyers are handling 43 cases,” reads the report.
“These will be concluded once council disposes of the salary arrears and terminal benefits.”
In an effort to reduce litigation costs, council continues to engage some ex-employees for out-of-court settlements.
Human resources director Mrs Mary Mukonyora noted that there was low movement on the cases and that the finance department was struggling to meet the obligations.
“There has been little movement in the matters as a result of court processes which we do not have control over,” she said.
“Furthermore, council is yet to fully service its debts to former employees, once these have been fully paid, there will be a notable reduction of the cases.
“Whilst council has enjoyed a stay in terms of labour related issues due to payment plans and deeds of settlement, the finance department is struggling to fulfil its obligation which may result in a resurgence of court cases.”
Recently, councillors voiced concern on the continued increase in labour cases in which council is losing to its former workers.