Redcliff’s fight with ex-Town Clerk stalls service delivery

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By Kwekwe Correspondent

A 10 year-old labour dispute between the Redcliff Town Council in the Midlands and its former acting Town Clerk Trust Sengwayo had stalled efforts to deliver services, it has been learnt.

According to the town’s deputy Mayor Vincent Masiiwa, council has been unable to appoint key personnel because of the legal fight.

“I am not sure for how much Sengwayo is suing the council. What I know for sure is that the protracted legal wrangle has negatively affected the council.

“As it is we can’t employ a chamber secretary until the finalisation of the matter. It is one of the cases which have dragged for a long time and that is very costly for the council,” Masiiwa said.

Sengwayo was dismissed in 2009 from the local authority and has since contested the council’s decision through the Labour Court.

In his judgment, Labour Court president Maxwell Takuva ordered the local authority to give Sengwayo title to stand 2396 Rutendo suburb. Takuva added that if reinstatement was no longer an option, the municipality should pay the former senior official agreed damages in lieu of reinstatement.

The court also ruled that the municipality pay Sengwayo $152 000 compensation for unfair dismissal. An attempt by Redcliff to have the judgment reversed failed after the Labour Court threw the application out on the grounds of a technicality raised by Sengwayo.

It is believed that Sengwayo’s dismissal was a result of personal differences with then Mayor Joseph Matewa over redeployment of key officials by the former acting Town Clerk in 2009.

Aggrieved by the court’s decision, Redcliff municipality launched an appeal at the Supreme Court.

In 2017 the matter was referred back to the Labour Court to determine the application seeking to reverse a $152 000 judgment issued in his favour of the former employee. According to council papers Redcliff is sitting on mounting legal cases.