Home » Legal and Judicial Affairs » High Court Upholds City’s Decision to Retire Workers

The High Court has upheld Harare City Council’s decision to retire employees who reached the age of 60. The city retired 1 330 employees who were in council service including some from Harare Water.

Ninety-four of the employees who were members of Water and Allied Workers’ Union of Zimbabwe made an application to the High Court challenging the retirement.

According to recent minutes of the Human Resources and General Purposes Committee, corporate services and housing director Mrs Josephine Ncube told councillors that the High Court had dismissed the application by WAWUZ.

“The committee discussed the matter appreciating that council’s decision to retire employees who had attained the normal retirement age of 60 years had been vindicated. It also commended council’s attorneys for successfully representing it in the matter,” read part of the minutes.

In their application the workers argued that when the city took the decision being challenged, some of the employees were already above the age of 60 years and were therefore awaiting late retirement at 65 years.

They also argued that the city could not retire them at the normal retirement age of 60 years without their consent and that the city was aware that the pension fund had no money as it was not paying its dues.

However, High Court judge Justice November Mtsiya in his ruling, said there were no clear retirement provisions in a contract of employment and the law dictated that the employer abandons same in favour of retrenchment.

“The employer can only be challenged if the retirement rules have been violated. I do not find that to be the case in casu. The applicant’s members were lawfully retired and the issue of retrenchment never arose.

“The above finding means that other financial issues raised by the applicant do not in any way impact on the legality of the respondent’s decision. The applicant’s members are at liberty to lay their claims before the pension fund. In any case the financial matters that the applicant raised are the subject of an on-going arbitration process,” he said.

Source : The Herald

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