|Zaoga, workers on collision course|
|Wednesday, 08 August 2012 00:00|
The Zimbabwe Assemblies of God Africa is on a collision course with its workers after ordering them to sign new voluntary service contracts. The irate workers have vowed not to sign the contracts — which will be regarded or deemed to be a contract of employment — describing them as draconian.
“We’re being forced to sign this form of which we feel our rights as workers are being violated according to labour laws. If we may ask, how do other voluntary organisations craft their contract forms?” said a worker who asked for anonymity for fear of victimisation.
Another worker said that the new forms were meant to silence them as they were being threatened with dismissal if they refuse to sign the contracts.
The voluntary service form starts with a worker’s background information including educational and work experience.
The workers will then sign the declaration part stating that they would be bound by contents of the agreement and had signed voluntarily without duress.
According to the stipulated conditions, the workers shall not be entitled to receive salary, wages or any form of compensation or remuneration for whatever services they may render to Zaoga.
The declaration continues: “That I dedicate myself to the service of God and the Zaoga. That from time to time, I may be entitled to an allowance but the quantum and regularity of such an allowance shall be the sole and entire discretion of the Zaoga executive committee.”
The workers are expected to accept that the executive committee’s decision in the determination thereof shall be final.
It shall be in the sole and entire discretion of the executive committee to terminate at any moment a worker’s period of voluntary service before the expiry date.
The committee shall be under no obligation to divulge to the workers the reasons behind such termination, while the workers should accept the decision to terminate the contract as final.
The declaration further states: “In the event that I am asked by the executive committee to abandon or terminate my voluntary service to Zaoga before the expiry date, I shall not be entitled to any form of compensation. I shall at all times comply and abide by the constitution and rules and policy of the Zaoga and profess the faith of Zaoga recognising the fundamental truths which form the basis of the belief of the church.”
Zaoga secretary-general Rev Washington Rupapa refused to comment over the issue. Zaoga is the biggest pentecostal church in Zimbabwe with hundreds of full- time workers in administration, pre-schools, tailoring schools and general hands, among others.