Friday, 5 May 2017

Chief Justice Godfrey Guwu Chidyausiku Receives No Kind Words From Zimbabwe's Workers

There is a Shona saying “Wafa Wanaka” which, loosely translated means even when someone does wrong in his life time, people will only talk about their good when they are gone.

But for former Chief Justice Godfrey Guwu Chidyausiku, there were no kind words from thousands of workers across the country who were thrown into destitution because of the infamous July 2015 Zuva Petroleum Judgment which gave employers the green-light to fire workers on notice without compensation.

Workers took to social media to express their un-forgiveness of the man they blame for the sorry state that they find themselves in after toiling for years hoping to be rewarded on retirement, only to be kicked out of their jobs empty-handed.

“Let him go, his lavish lifestyle could not be watered by the sweat and blood of the poor workers. May his soul rot in hell,” remarked one worker on a Whatsapp group for trade unionists.

“I hope he had repented from his July 2015 genocide on workers. He spilt so much blood and troubled so many souls and all his sins are waiting for him,” said another worker.

“Takutonoita yaLameck chete if it is true, he was a very cruel man.”

“Let him go, he messed up the labour movement and workers at large, let his evil deeds follow him, our demonstration has been heard by God,” one trade union leader said.
Chief Justice Godfrey Guwu Chidyausiku Receives No Kind Words From Zimbabwe's Workers
The hatred emanates from the case “Don Nyamande & Anor v Zuva Petroleum (Pvt) Ltd (1) S-43-15,” where Chidyausiku, sitting with CJ, Gwaunza, Garwe, Hlatshwayo & Guvava delivered judgment on July 17, 2015to the effect that neither Section 12(4) nor 12 (B) of the Labour Act Chapter 28;01, took away the employers’ right to terminate employment on notice.

Nyamande and his workmate, Kingston Donga had their contracts terminated on notice and an arbitrator considered that their termination had been done unlawfully as the employer had not followed the company’s code of conduct.

The Labour Court, however, allowed the employer to appeal to a higher court, leading to the company appealing to the Supreme Court, where Chidyausiku ruled that both the employer and the employee had a common law right to terminate an employment relationship on notice.

The result of the judgment was the termination of contracts on notice by thousands of employers who had been struggling to raise retrenchment packages and took advantage of the ruling.

Although the government tried to intervene by amending the Labour Act to have workers paid compensation in retrospect, it had come too late and was not helpful as it also gave the employers the right to appeal against compensation.

Other workers who spoke to said his ruling on farm invasions had also caused job losses for not only thousands of farm workers, but those working for industries that depended on agriculture such as Olivine Industries, Cairns Foods, Mazowe Citrus, David Whitehead and many others which collapsed due to the chaotic land reform exercise.

Source-New Zimbabwe

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