By Bulawayo Correspondent
ZIMPLOW Holdings Limited has approached the High Court in Bulawayo seeking an interim order barring opposition Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) and the company’s former employees from holding protests at the firm’s vicinity.
Last year in December, members of MRP joined former Zimplow workers demonstrating at the company’s premises. The ex-workers were demanding their dues following their “unfair” dismissal in 2015.
On 17 February 2020, the workers and the MRP activists also picketed the company.
The demonstrators who were singing and dancing, accused the company of failing to follow Labour Act No 17 of Chapter 28.01 procedures when they dismissed the workers in 2015.
The company last week filed an urgent application at the Bulawayo High Court praying for an order to bar the MRP activists and the former from engaging in further demonstrations at the company.
Through its lawyers C/0 Calderwood, Bryce Hendrie and Partners, the company cited 10 respondents who include Parton Xaba, MRP national Organising Secretary, the officer in Charge of Mzilikazi police station, the Sheriff of the High Court of Zimbabwe and Paul Ngwenya, the leader of the former workers.
“Applicant being a legal person has a right to property, privacy, security and the benefit of the rule of the law,” reads the company papers lodged with the courts.
“On the 20th December 2019 and the 17th February 2020, the 3rd (Paul Ngwenya) – 9th (Parton Xaba) respondents overwhelmed the applicant’s security and invaded the aforementioned property with what appears to be the intention of disrupting the applicant’s business activities.
“The demonstrators are neither employee nor are they invitees of applicant. They also do not have any lawful authority to be on the applicant’s private property.
“The 3rd and 9th respondents have threatened to return to the applicant’s premises to cause further disruption and to burn down the applicant’s buildings.”
The company said it feared the group may return and cause damage to its buildings and property.
“The harm therefore to my mind is continuous. Despite having refused entry the protesters overpowered our security personnel and entered applicant’s abovementioned premises,” said the company.
The respondents are still to file their opposing papers.
The workers were fired following the infamous July 17, 2015 Supreme Court ruling in which Zimbabwean employers were granted the right to terminate a permanent employment contract on three months’ notice.