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Chiredzi GMB moves to evict ex-employees

                                                 The GMB houses in Chiredzi
Beatific
Gumbwanda
CHIREDZI-
The local depot of the Grain Marketing Board has engaged its lawyers to evict
from staff quarters about 21 former employees who contracts were terminated in
August 2015.
The employees were fired summarily
following a Supreme Court ruling which found that there was nothing at law that
could stop employers from dismissing workers using a three-month notice.
The company has now engaged its lawyers
G.H Muzondo and Partners to eject the former employees from staff houses.
In 1974, GMB entered into a 40-year
lease agreement with Chiredzi Town Council (CTC) in respect of 13 residential
stands otherwise known as Grain Marketing Board Staff Quarters, Nandi Siding
Depot, Tshovani Township. GMB constructed houses on the stands to accommodate employers
and the lease has since expired.
In its particulars of claim, GMB states
that the tenants no longer have any right to remain in the houses since they
long ceased to be in the employee of the State-owned grain buyer.
“The first defendant (former
employees), his tenants, assignees and all those claiming right of occupation
through him be and is hereby ordered to vacate the property known as house
number 316 B (Adam Mupeti) Justin Road, Grain Marketing Board staff-quarters,
Mandi Siding Depot Chiredzi and surrender vacant possession of the
plaintiff. 
“Failure of the above, the
messenger of court Chiredzi be and is hereby authorised, empowered and directed
to evict and remove the first defendant, his tenants, assignees and all those
claiming occupation through him together with all his belongings from house
number 316 B Justin Road, Grain Marketing Board Staff-quarters, Nandi siding
depot, Chiredzi,” reads part of the document.
Nine employees namely Benson Dube,
Ishmael Mudzva, Tinashe Chiwera, Adam Mupeti, Munyaradzi Matsikete, Mudembwe
Kevin, William Tiri vanhu Spiwe Mashavi and Nomatter Mupeti are being
represented by Muzenda and Chitsama Attorneys.
Through their lawyers, the former
employees, however, argue that GMB has no power whatsoever to evict them from
the houses as it no longer the agreement with Chiredzi Town Council expired in
March.
“There is a matter before Masvingo
High Court under case number HC352/18 which is still pending. The matter before
the high Court involves the same parties in this matter and the issues are the
same.
“The plaintiff has no locus standi
judicio. She is not the owner neither does she have a lease agreement with the
second defendant (Council) which expired in March 2014 and the lease was not
renewed.
“The first defendant avers that the
claim has now prescribed. Termination of employment was done in August 2015.
The summons commencing actions were issued on 13 June 2019. The claim should
have been brought within three years upon termination of employment in terms of
the Prescription Act because the cause of action arose in August 2015 therefore
the claim is now prescribed.
“The plaintiff was the employer of
the first defendant. She terminated the contract of employment between her and
first defendant in August 2015. The plaintiff is not the owner of the property neither
does she have a lease agreement with the second defendant. More so, there is
another matter pending at Masvingo High Court between the same parties on the
same property,” reads the plea.
The former employees claim they have
been paying rentals directly to Chiredzi Town Council not through GMB.
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