UZ account remains frozen

HARARE - University of Zimbabwe (UZ) CBZ account remains frozen following the dismissal of their urgent chamber application contesting a High Court ruling awarding $291 000 to two employees of the institution who were illegally fired.

A garnishee order granted by the court resulted in the bank freezing the university account.

UZ then made an urgent chamber application seeking the suspension of the award pending the appeal but High Court Judge Francis Bere dismissed the request.

“It (UZ) decided to wait to be served with an application for a garnishee order application to awaken from its slumber.

“The sluggish manner in which the applicant (UZ) handled this matter does not end with its failure to apply for stay of execution in terms of the Labour Act.

“A litigant that awaits for the day of reckoning to start acting will find no sympathy from this court.

“I have no doubt in my mind that the lackadaisical approach adopted by the applicant in this case leads to one inevitable conclusion, viz, that the applicant has authored or created the urgency in this matter before me,”  said Justice Bere.

The duo’s lawyers Kudzai Erick Kadzere and Marufu Mandevere said effectively the bank was required at law to freeze the bank account until the High Court orders otherwise and no withdrawals or transfers could be carried out on the attached bank account.

UZ was ordered to pay Kwanele Muriel Jirira $156 852 13, Loius Masuko $134 362 and their lawyers in terms of applicable tariff set by the Law Society of Zimbabwe.

Jirira and Masuko were employed by UZ as research fellows based at the Institute of Development Studies.

The two were redeployed from the institute to the economics department.

They however, contested the redeployment which they said was illegal. They also said their contracts of employment and the terms and conditions did not allow for such.

The pair told the court they did not have qualifications to teach in the department although they fulfilled the duties while refusing to take up offices in the department.

The misunderstanding resulted in the pair being called for a disciplinary hearing where they were found guilty and sacked in 2010.

The two approached the Labour Court where they were granted an arbitral award. - Tendai Kamhungira

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