Sekai Nzenza dragged to court for unlawful suspension

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By Ebenezzer Sibanda

TWO government workers send on suspension by the Public Service have taken Minister Sekai Nzenza to the High Court challenging the decision.

Mt Darwin social welfare officer and his human resources assistant have filed an urgent chamber application with the High Court seeking to overturn a pending disciplinary hearing after they were “unlawfully” suspended.

Willie Chideya and Nicholas Chengeta cited Nzenza as a respondent in their application arguing their case was of extreme urgency.

The two in court papers claim the suspension is not sanctioned by the law governing fairness and procedure of administrative decisions adding a planned hearing would also effectively be illegal given the background from which the issue arises.

According to court papers, Chideya and Chengeta were suspended on 22, March 2019 for three months up to June 21st.

It is alleged that on 12, June, the two were served with an extension of the then expected hearing from 22, June, to 31, July 2019 and 25-28 June respectively.

They said the letters were issued outside the provisions of the regulations.

On the 24th of June, Chideya was served with another notice of cancellation and new dates set for 8 to 12 July by an S Masanga disciplinary authority which was cancelled without new dates.

On 31 July they received a notice to attend a hearing from the 27th to the 30th of August by the same Masanga.

The two allege the hearings will now be held outside the 90d day period allowed by the law.

Chideya and Chengeta argue that they were illegally suspended without benefits when the allegations do not involve financial prejudice to the government and have had their families left vulnerable to poverty over this period.

“The suspension order is illegal and punitive in that despite the allegations having nothing to do with financial prejudice to the government. The Ministry decided to suspend us without benefits for seven months contrary to the provision of the Public Services Regulations as read with Public Service Human Resources Manual,” reads part of the summons.

The case is still pending.