President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday officially opened the new premises for the Labour Court of Zimbabwe in Harare where he made a commitment to enhance the administration of justice in the labour market.
While this colorful event was underway in Harare, Green Fuel, a company partly owned by government was busy dishing out dismissal letters to over 100 workers in Chisumbanje, Chipinge.
In its letter, Green Fuel quoted Section 12 subsection 4(c) of the Labour Act;
“This letter serves as notice to terminate your contract of employment. Your notice period will run from 10th May 2019 to 10th June 2019 in terms of section 12 subsection 4(c) of the Labour Act (Chapter 28:01).”
In his speech during the official opening of the Labour Court, Mnangagwa promised to be a defender of the workers’ rights.
“Employers and employees are at the centre of business, business in turn relies on the courts to protect not only proprietary interests but also the interests of workers” said Mnangagwa.
It is worrisome to have Green Fuel dismissing workers despite the government’s recent approval of 10 percent mandatory blending.
Armed with the government’s support on its product, it was prudent for the company to contribute towards the social and economic development of Chipinge community and the nation at large.
The laying off of workers by Green Fuel despite a government commitment to workers’ justice show a high level of insincerity on the part of the both the government and Green Fuel.
“We are now skeptical about this project. Does it create or destroy employment? If I compare cotton farming that I was previously engaged in, I have a lot of regrets.” Fumed one of the laid off workers who preferred anonymity.
“We have always raised concerns as community stakeholders to pressure government to reign in on Green Fuel with little success. Green Fuel continues to operate without any considerations for social license as long as they continue to make profit,” said Claris Madhuku, Platform for Youth Development Trust.
“We hope the President will quickly realize that Green Fuel is exposing him by continuously operating without respecting fundamental human rights of local communities as always raised by PYD,” added Madhuku.
Source: Platform for Youth Development (PYD)