HH 265-18 T N BAKERY versus THE STATE

T N BAKERY

versus

THE STATE

 

HIGH COURT OF ZIMBABWE

HUNGWE & MUSHORE JJ

HARARE, 5 October 2017 & 23 May 2018

 

 

Criminal Appeal

I.M.T. Rujuva, for the appellant

T. Nyahunzvi, for the State

 

            MUSHORE J: The complainant, one Edrine Mutizwa, was once employed by the appellant company as a sales person. He began working for the appellant in January 2012 earning US$255-00 per month. In March 2012, complainant became a permanent employee. Complainant stopped working for the appellant on the 18th July 2015 when the appellant company closed down. The appellant owed complainant salary and other benefits at the time that complainant left the appellant. Complainant experienced difficulties in attempting to recover the money which appellant owed him leading to the complainant filing a complaint in the Labour Court. Eventually the parties went before a labour officer on the 18th November 2015. The labour officer who determined complainant’s claim, ultimately managed to get the parties to reach a settlement as follows:-

            Record page 27

            “Concerning: Alleged underpayment of wages and non-payment of wages.

We resolved by agreement of the parties on the 09/03/16 and further that the terms of agreement are as follows: The parties agreed that the complainant will be paid a total of US$ 6152-57 as follows $2,800-00 will be offset by 5 Marvel Double Beds which be (sic) delivered on or before 23 April 2016 and the remaining $3300-00 will be paid by instalments of $305 monthly starting on the 29th April 2016 to 28th February 2017 until the mount is finished.”

Thereafter, according to the State Outline, appellant reneged on its promise, causing the complainant to return to the labour officer. Thus on the 13th June 2016, the labour officer issued a prosecution letter addressed to the Officer in Charge,  ZRP Gweru Central suggesting that the appellant be prosecuted in terms of s 13 (2) of the Labour Act [Chapter 28:01] for withholding and unreasonably delaying payment of the complainant’s wages without the Minister’s permission. Section 13 (2) reads as follows:

 

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2018