UZ appeal seeks stay of property attachment

HARARE - The Supreme Court will next Friday rule on an appeal filed by University of Zimbabwe (UZ), contesting a High Court order authorising the attachment of its property over $200 000 owed to two sacked employees.

Following the issue of the order, the UZ filed an appeal seeking to stop High Court Judge Francis Bere’s ruling, authorising ex-employees Kwanele Muriel Jirira and Louis Masuko to attach the organisation’s property over money owed to them.

Jirira and Masuko are represented by Kudzayi Erick Kadzere from Kadzere, Hungwe and Mandevere Legal Practitioners.

Kadzere yesterday confirmed to the Daily News that the matter had been set down for March 14.

He said some of the property that was attached included luxury vehicles, computers and the entire institution’s library.

The property was only saved from attachment by an order granted in November last year, by Supreme Court Judge Vernanda Ziyambi, stalling property attachment pending the determination of the appeal.

“In the event the appeal is dismissed, we will certainly proceed against the university’s property, bearing in mind that the provisional order granted was only temporary and is set to expire upon determination of the appeal,” Kadzere said.

In his affidavit, Levi Nyagura, the university’s vice chancellor, 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.

Issues arose after Jirira and Masuko, who were employed by the UZ as research fellows based at the Institute of Development Studies, were redeployed to the Economics department.

They contested the redeployment, claiming the move was illegal.

The two also argued that their contracts of employment and the terms and conditions did not allow such staff movements.

The pair told the court that they did not have qualifications to teach in the department although they fulfilled the duties while at the same time refusing to take up office 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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