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Harare City Council is losing thousands of dollars through litigation by employees over unfair labour practices. Human Resources and General Purposes Committee chairperson councillor Wellington Chikombo yesterday confirmed the development, saying workers were suing council for various reasons.

“I do agree there are such cases in the courts where we are being sued on various matters. It is obvious it is costing us money through legal fees,” he said.

In one of the cases, the Labour Court ordered council to reinstate six employees without loss of salary and benefits.

Four of the employees were affected by the transfer of water management functions from the city to the Zimbabwe National Water Authority in 2006.

After dismissal, the workers who were employees of the Department of Works, took the city to the Labour Court citing unfair dismissal.

The city’s corporate services and housing director Mrs Josephine Ncube recently told the Human Resources and General Purposes committee that the four did not report for duty as Zinwa employees and were struck off the payroll.

“The corporate services and housing director (Mrs Ncube) reported that on December 1, 2006, water management functions were transferred to Zinwa following a ministerial directive dated November 30, 2006.

“All the affected employees including the former employees were aised of the transfer.

“The four former employees had not reported for duty as Zinwa employees as detailed in the report. They were consequently struck off the Zinwa payroll and they had also ceased to be council employees,” read the minutes.

Council has since applied to the Labour Court for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court against the Arbitral award.

Source : The Herald