Thursday 5 October 2017


MUTARE City Council’s quest to evict its former Town Clerk Mr Obert Muzawazi from the house he was occupying in Murambi hit a brick wall last Friday after a local magistrate dismissed the case with costs.

Mutare City Council — through its attorney Mr Johannes Zviuya of Bere Brothers — had approached Mutare Civil Court praying for Mr Muzawazi’s eviction, but senior Mutare magistrate Mr Innocent Bepura dismissed the case. Mr Bepura’s verdict comes after a Labour Officer, a Mr B Hwacha, had earlier ruled that House Number 2 Shangai Drive be awarded to Mr Muzawazi at 50 percent of the market value.
“It is common cause that the order of Mr Hwacha was not complied with.  It is also apparent that the Labour Officer has since made an application for confirmation of his order in terms of Section 93 (5a) of the Labour Act (Chapter 18.07). The two parties appeared before the Labour Court on July 27, 2017 where they argued on the application for confirmation of the Labour Officer’s judgment. It is notable that ruling was reserved by the Labour Court after the applicant had requested for the referral of the matter to the Constitutional Court. 

Therefore, the application for confirmation is still pending,” said Mr Bepura.
While the application for confirmation of the Labour Court was still pending, Mutare City Council rushed to Mutare Civil Court seeking an order to evict Mr Muzawazi from the house in dispute.

“The applicant and the respondent are a former employer and employee respectively for a period of nine years. The applicant, City of Mutare, is the fourth biggest city of Zimbabwe and the respondent is its former Town Clerk. The respondent has, therefore, been the captain in the applicant’s organisation, holding the steering for a period of nine years. I do not think it will be a misrepresentation of facts if I would liken the then relationship of the applicant and the respondent during the subsistence of their employer-employee relationship as that of husband and wife. I say so because in the two I see love. I also say so because the streams of love always end in salty oceans. I mean that when love ends, it is always tensions and squabbles,” said Mr Bepura.

Mr Bepura added: “Anyway, it is common cause that the employer-employee relationship between the applicant and the respondent is now history as this relationship was extinguished upon the respondent’s tendering of his resignation letter on January 26, 2016.
“It is apparent that the resignation was by consent as what appears on the resignation letter itself.”

Mr Bepura said it was not proper for the court to be convinced into accepting the argument that the order made by the Labour Court was a none event.
“I believe the conciliation order of the Labour Officer is not just like a tooth pick that is used to remove some unwanted stuff and then thrown away and becomes useless,” he said. “I believe it is useful and effective in dispute resolution of labour matters.

“I insist that the conciliation order entered by the Labour Officer binds both parties because it is not an under the tree discussion. It is rather a quasi-judicial decision that is sanctioned by an Act of Parliament.” herald


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