New Zimbabwe.com

GMEAZ sues food and allied industries employment council after being blocked from meeting

Spread This News

By Mary Taruvinga


THE Grain Milling Employers Association of Zimbabwe (GMEAZ) has dragged the National Employment Council for the Food and Allied Industries (Council) to court for blocking its members from attending a special meeting.

According GMEAZ, this was despite the fact that it has been a party to the Council at all material times.

GMEAZ said it has competence and authority to attend and participate in any of the council’s meetings but parties not yet verified to participate were allowed into the meeting.

Court papers show that GMEAZ has representatives in all functional committees and sub-committees of the Council.

GMEAZ said the Small to Medium Millers Association of Zimbabwe (SMMAZ) cited as the third respondent was recently registered as an employer’s association in 2021 and is not eligible to participate in the negotiations on behalf of employers.

“On 11 May 2022, the council conducted a meeting in which it barred GMEAZ from participating on the basis that representatives from the Milling sub-sector exceeded the required number of three.

“This is notwithstanding that GMEAZ is the only employers association with verified membership and whose representatives were duly appointed and thus entitled to attend and participate in any deliberations of the council,” read court documents seen by NewZimbabwe.com.

According to the court papers, the Council permitted the participation of SMMAZ, Employers Association of the meat, fish, poultry, abattoir and meat processing and sugar refining employers all of whom had no right to sit in and participate in decisions of the council.

Resultantly, whereas  20 members attended the meeting from the employees’ stable, only seven were there from the employer’s side.

As a consequence, there was no quorum for the carrying into effect of the resolutions of the employment council.

Moreover, GMEAZ representatives were barred from participating in a shareholder’s meeting in which prejudicial decisions were made, inter alia, to alter the shareholding structure of the company.

GMEAZ said the decisions made were illegal and made by persons with no competence to do so.

In this regard it seeks that the implementation of those resolutions be stayed pending the determination of the parties respective rights on the return date.

“The meeting is thus seriously afflicted in that it did not have a quorum, it excluded GMEAZ who was entitled to attend and allowed members who were not entitled to attend and participate in the same.

“The resolutions of the irregular Special council meeting are due for Implementation.

“There is therefore a looming apprehension of actual harm on the horizon. It has to be nipped in the bud as both these decisions have far reaching consequences on the 1st and 11th Respondents,” wrote GMEAZ lawyers.

GMEAZ is seeking in the interim an order interdicting the council confirming the resolutions and insist they have a right to be heard through their appointed representatives before decisions affecting their rights are taken.

The interdict is required pending the determination of the parties rights on the return date.