Judge sues ZHRC over salary arrears

Daniel Nemukuyu Senior Court Reporter
High Court judge Justice Jester Helena Charewa has taken her former employer, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC), to court, claiming outstanding salary and allowances to the tune of $34 196.

The judge worked as ZHRC executive secretary prior to her appointment to the bench. She joined the Commission in 2014 and during her time of employment with ZHRC, she was getting almost half of her actual monthly package.

On March 2 this year, Justice Charewa decided to issue summons after an unsuccessful attempt to recover the debt outside court.

She is claiming the $34 196 plus interest.

In the summons issued by Chinamasa, Mudimu and Maguranyanga Law Firm, Justice Charewa indicated that she was appointed as executive secretary for ZHRC on June 1, 2014.

It was agreed that she would get monthly allowances and salary totalling $5 094, but the Commission violated the agreement.

The Commission unilaterally paid Justice Charewa a total gross of $2 973 monthly, leaving a balance of $2 121.

Between July 2014 and September 2015, the debt ballooned to $34 196.

Justice Charewa made several demands for payment of the outstanding dues, but nothing materialised. According to the summons, ZHRC does not dispute the debt, but has neglected or failed to pay.

Justice Charewa confirmed that she also owes the Commission $2 410, being costs for the repair of her personal vehicle during her employment with ZHRC.

She indicated in the papers that the Commission can still deduct the $2 410 from her outstanding salary and allowances.

Justice Charewa is also a former deputy registrar of the African Court on Human and People’s Rights.

ZHRC was still to respond to the suit.