Chiyangwa ordered to pay fired worker

HARARE - Businessman-cum-politician Phillip Chiyangwa’s Magnet Construction Company is embroiled in a messy labour dispute with an ex-employee after it allegedly failed to pay an arbitral award ordered by the High Court.

Munodawafa Mawere, a former site manager at Magnet Construction Pvt Ltd — a subsidiary of Pinnacle Holdings — was unlawfully dismissed by Chiyangwa in November 2010.

The dismissal resulted in a protracted legal battle that saw High Court Judge Justice Ben Hlatshwayo grant him an order on May 14, 2013  compelling Chiyangwa to pay him a total of $12 000.

Yesterday, Munodawafa told the Daily News that instead of paying cash, Chiyangwa, through his son Edmund who is chief executive of Pinnacle Holdings, said he was broke and offered to pay in kind in the form of a residential stand.

“Chiyangwa told me the company is broke and offered to pay me in kind but I refused because I want cash as ordered by the court and if he insists on paying in kind like he has indicated so far, I will have to engage my lawyers with a view to attaching his properties,” said Mawere.

Edmund confirmed that he had indeed offered to pay in kind but claimed that after Mawere refused to accept the offer he has since ordered his payment in cash.

“After he refused my offer to empower him by giving him land, I decided to give him the cash that he is so much fond of and I have done so through my lawyers,” said Edmund.

The High Court order, a copy of which is in possession of the Daily News reads in part: “Respondent be and is hereby ordered to pay applicant a total of $12 000…”

Magnet Construction Pvt Ltd is a company registered with the Construction Industry Federation of Zimbabwe (CIFOZ) whose chairperson is Chiyangwa.

Mawere was represented by Matsikidze and Mucheche law firm.

Chiyangwa is not new to labour controversy after he was involved in yet another dispute with his 55 farmworkers last year who claimed that they were owed at least $800 each after they had been ejected from his Old Citrus Farm.

He argued the workers were “squatters” illegally occupying houses at his farm compound. - Mugove Tafirenyika

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