Home » Judicial » Two Ministers Issue Show Cause Orders Over Strike

The legal battle pitting Chitungwiza Municipality and its workers to determine the legality of the industrial action that collapsed operations in the town, yesterday took a new twist after it emerged that there were ministerial orders by two different ministers to stop the strike.

In terms of the law, the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Nicholas Goche is empowered to issue a “show cause order”, which sets aside the strike and refers the dispute for determination by a Labour Court judge.

But the Labour Court yesterday could not hear the merits of the case upon realising that the strike was ended by a show cause order issued by Health and Child Care Minister Dr David Parirenyatwa on behalf of Minister Goche who was attending a labour conference in Victoria Falls.

The court also heard that Minister Goche later on the same day issued another order with his signature.

Lawyers for the workers argued that the strike was ended by a defective order and that Minister Goche’s order was an afterthought that could have been issued some four or five days later.

On that basis, the workers argued that the proceedings to dispose of the strike should be dismissed.

Responding to the submissions, Mr Rodgers Matsikidze of Matsikidze and Mucheche law firm argued that the orders were issued the same day and that there was no basis for the allegations that the order by Minister Goche was issued days later.

He argued that Minister Parirenyatwa was the Acting Minister of Labour in the absence of Minister Goche and that he had authority to sign on his behalf.

Mr Matsikidze said the case was urgent and that clinics in Chitungwiza were closed and there was no water supply due to the strike.

He said a health disaster was looming in the town hence Minister Parirenyatwa’s order was legal and valid.

Mr Matsikidze said in the event that Minister Parirenyatwa’s order was ruled to be a nullity, the one by Minister Goche remained valid.

The court queried the existence of the two show cause orders by two different ministers on the same day, but Mr Matsikidze said that could be established through summoning Minister Goche to give an explanation to the court.

Justice Gladys Mhuri, sitting with Justices Betty Chidziva, and Rodgers Manyangadze reserved judgment on the preliminary points after hearing arguments from both parties.

Source : The Herald