Update on Labour Court Hearing

ZHDA had another successful day in court today. The Labour Court upheld preliminary points raised by ZHDA’s lawyers Doug Coltart and Wellington Musengwa and refused to hear an application by the Health Services Board (HSB) to confirm the “Show Cause Order” issued by the Minister of Labour to declare the (so-called) collective job action by doctors unlawful. The matter was sent back to the Minister of Labour because she had failed to give reasons for why she issued the Show Cause Order against ZHDA and had failed to place a full record before the court including the minutes of the hearing before her and the evidence led by Dr Tawanda Zvakada on doctors’ incapacitation.

ZHDA’s lawyers successfully argued that the court would be hamstrung if it were to hear the matter with an incomplete record. Coltart argued that the minutes of the hearing will be particularly important given that at the hearing before the Minister, HSB conceded that doctors are incapacitated. With that concession, that should be the end of the matter because it means the Employer admits that doctors are not unwilling but unable to go to work and therefore there is no strike or collective job action to declare unlawful.

The Labour Court directed HSB to ensure that a full record was placed before the Court by no later than 12:00 tomorrow on Wednesday 9 October 2019. The matter has been set down for another hearing before the Labour Court on Thursday 10 October 2019 at 14:15 once the Minister has complied with the Court’s directives.

Source: Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA)

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