|High Court blocks Airzim bid|
|Saturday, 05 May 2012 00:00|
Daniel Nemukuyu Senior Court Reporter
determination of the workers’ application for the airline to be placed under judicial management.
That did not go down well with the workers who felt the move was meant to strip Air Zimbabwe of its assets and frustrate the pending court application.
Transport, Communication and Infrastructure Development Permanent Secretary Mr Patson Mbiriri wrote the letter on March 26 this year advising the firm to transfer the shares.
Part of the letter read: “Pursuant to the Cabinet decision of Air Zimbabwe Holding Private Limited dated 28 February 2012, Air Zimbabwe Holdings should immediately transfer its shareholding in National Handling Services to a nominee company wholly owned by the Government, which nominee company will hold Government shares in NHS.
“For the avoidance of doubt, NHS is no longer a subsidiary of Air Zimbabwe Holdings. The current board of NHS is dissolved. At the same time, a new interim board was appointed . . .”
“If the respondents were to be allowed to alienate assets belonging to Air Zimbabwe Holdings and applicants ultimately succeed in HC661/12 (pending application for judicial management) irreparable harm would have been occasioned to the applicants since there would be no assets to provisionally judicially manage.
“The balance of convenience clearly favours the granting of the relief sought. No prejudice will be wrought upon the respondents by granting the relief because if the outcome in HC661/12 is in their favour, they can always implement their actions.
The said provisional order bars the purported transfer of shares to a nominee Government company and alienation or removal of NHS assets to any other entity.
The National Airways Workers Union and the Air Transport Union view the directive of March 26 as a way of stripping the airline of its assets thereby rendering the application filed in January this year a mere academic exercise of no real value.
The same letter was also copied to the Minister of Transport, Communication and Infrastructural Development Nicholas Goche.
“Air Zimbabwe assets were rendered res litigiosa by the instigation of the application. It would be wrongful for respondents to deal as they seek to and that will put the court in the precarious situation of having to hear and determine a merely academic matter,” the application read.
The workers argue that the Government was trying to strip the assets of Air Zimbabwe.
Adv Uriri said the application was still pending and that it was far from reaching a conclusion.
While the determination is pending, the workers have filed heads of argument on the main matter and they are now awaiting the setting down of the matter for hearing.
The workers got information of the intended “hiving off” of Air Zimbabwe by the Government on 2 April this year prompting them to file an urgent chamber application to bar any transfer of NHS shares.