Home » Legal and Judicial Affairs » Masvingo Municipality Wants Law Nullified

Masvingo Municipality has approached the Constitutional Court seeking nullification of a section of the Labour Act that authorises the execution of attached property despite the aggrieved party having filed an appeal.

Last week the municipality obtained an interim order stopping the sale of its property over a $3,5 million debt in salary arrears.

Council wants Section 92E (2) of the Act deleted from the statute books.

Section 92E (2) of the Labour Act reads:

“An appeal in terms of sub-section (1) shall not have the effect of suspending the determination or decision appealed against.”

Masvingo Municipality argued that the law was unconstitutional and that it violates council’s right to equal protection under Section 56 of the Constitution.

It was also argued that the same law infringed the municipality’s right of access to the courts as enshrined in terms of Section 69(3) of the supreme law.

Council also seeks to stop the sale of property and to have the writ of execution thereof declared unconstitutional.

Masvingo’s 100 vehicles — among them fire tenders, road maintenance equipment, office furniture and computers worth hundreds of thousands of dollars — were attached over the salary dispute with workers.

The Labour Court initially dismissed council’s appeal without hearing the merits, a development that resulted in the case spilling into the Supreme Court.

On January 25 last year, Deputy Chief Justice Luke Malaba sitting with Justices Paddington Garwe and George Chiweshe referred the case back to the Labour Court for determination on the merits.

On March 6 this year, the Labour Court threw out the municipality’s appeal.

The municipality, on March 12, filed an application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court but workers’ lawyers instructed the sheriff to sell the attached property.

Most of the property had been gathering dust at the Messenger of Court premises for the past three years.

This was after the property was attached when council lost the salaries lawsuit against its workers at the Labour Court in December 2012.

Last month, Masvingo-based Two Muzaya Auctioneers issued a notice of execution saying it had been instructed by the Sheriff of the High Court to hold a public auction.

According to the notice, the items that will be auctioned are two fire tenders, office chairs, desks, computer sets, printers and more than 100 vehicles, including the mayoral Mercedes- Benz.

Other items that will go under the hammer include tippers, front-end loaders, refuse removal trucks and graders, crane lifter and more than 10 tractors.

Source : The Herald