ZESA learnt the hard way that no matter how you try to employ dirty tactics, justice will always prevail when the Labour Court ruled that President Chitambo be reinstated back to work without any loss of salary and benefits.
President Chitambo was dismissed from work last year, after a kangaroo ZESA court found her ‘guilty’ on allegedly addressing a press conference threatening to switch off power in the country if ZESA management did not honour up the 2012 CBA.
This did not deter the firebrand and fearless Chitambo who decided to appeal against this unfair and cruel decision set by ZESA Appeals Committee.
President Chitambo with the assistance of labour lawyers, Rodgers Matsikidze, Caleb Mucheche and Munyaradzi Gwisai then approached the Labour Court seeking recourse.
In her final ruling, honourable L Matanda Moyo, President of the Labour Court, said the ZESA Appeals Committee exhibited a number of discrepancies in its ruling against Chitambo.
She noted that the Appeals Committee had erred by giving the second respondent (ZETDC)’s disciplinary committee to proceed with the disciplinary hearing on 24 September, in the absence of Chitambo.
Hounorable Matanda-Moyo noted that the Appeals Committee also erred by refusing to postpone the disciplinary committee in Chitambo’s absence and was also biased among other findings.
“The Appellant (Chitambo) was acquitted of all the specific charges like threatening to switch off the whole country and disclosing classified or confidential information relating to the affairs of respondent….Even if for argument sake, the appellant is indeed guilty of addressing a press conference without authority, such offence cannot attract the dismissal penalty.Dismissal penalty would be too harsh in the circumstances,”said honourable Matanda-Moyo.
“The appellant is found not guilty and is reinstated to her previous position without loss of salary or benefit.”she said.
Commenting after her court victory, Chitambo said gone are the days when employer take workers for granted.
“I am very happy that justice has finally prevailed….this is a lesson to employers that workers can never be taken for granted.Employers must be told that no one is above the law,”said Chitambo.
Meanwhile, Dennis Mukote (ZEWU national executive member) and David Nyika who had been suspended by ZESA since last July were also reinstated after the Labour Court ruled in their favour.
The Labour Court ruled that the two should also be reinstated with full benefits without loss of salaries.