Luna Chickens loses labour case

Fidelis Munyoro Chief Court Reporter
Former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Dr Gideon Gono’s company, Lunar Chickens, has lost an assortment of office furniture that is being auctioned by a former employee trying to recover salary arrears and damages for unlawful dismissal.

The former Lunar Chickens worker, Mr Mativenga Hove, obtained an arbitrary award against the firm for outstanding salaries and damages for loss of employment to the tune of $29 251 in February last year. The firm unsuccessfully appealed against the award at the Labour Court and the award was registered as a court judgment at the High Court recently, paving way for the attachment of the property.

The property will now be sold at a public auction tomorrow. The property to go under the hammer include 10 office desks, wooden cabinets, 15 swivel chairs, four arm chairs, a three-piece apple computer set, six four-piece computer sets, five four-drawer steel filing cabinets, maroon rexin seats, three three-piece black rexin sofas, three piece rexin reception seats, a wooden stool, three office chairs, two synerji fans, a Xerox printer, an HP photocopier, a Capri deep freezer, HP printers and a Defy microwave.

The labour dispute spattered into the courts after Mr Hove’s contract of employment was unfairly terminated. Sometime in July 2013, an arbitrator, Ms P Chawira, made an arbitration award in favour of Mr Hove. Lunar Chickens then appealed to the Labour Court against the award. In its grounds of appeal, Lunar Chickens argued that the arbitrator erred in finding that the disciplinary committee was biased against Mr Hove.

It was also the firm’s argument that the arbitrator misdirected herself in finding that the allegations levelled against Mr Hove were malicious and frivolous.

At the hearing of the appeal, Lunar Chickens was challenged to prove its case, but failed. Labour Court Judge, Justice Godfrey Musariri, threw out the appeal for lack of merit.