UZ fights property attachment

HARARE – University of Zimbabwe (UZ) has approached the Supreme Court, in a bid to protect its frozen CBZ Bank account and attached property, following a court order compelling the institution to pay two dismissed employees.

The university filed an appeal seeking to quash High Court Judge Francis Bere’s ruling, authorising the employees Kwanele Muriel Jirira and Louis Masuko to attach the organisation’s property over $219 000 owed to them.

Among some of the property that was attached are buses, cars and the university library equipment.

However, David Ochieng, instructed by Kudzayi  Kadzere and representing the two employees told the court that the application was invalid, since it was made without the university first seeking leave to appeal from the High Court.

He said Bere’s ruling was interlocutory. University lawyer, Ray Goba, said the High Court ruling was final because its effect meant that execution of the property was going ahead.

In his affidavit, UZ vice chancellor Levi Nyagura said the institution is seeking a court order interdicting the two employees from executing the High Court order.

UZ was ordered to pay Jirira $156 852 13 and Masuko $134 362.

The two were employed by UZ as research fellows based at the Institute of Development Studies and redeployed from the institute to the economics department, a position which they contested saying it was illegal as their contracts of employment and the terms and conditions did not allow for such appointments.

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.

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