Daniel Nemukuyu Senior Court Reporter—
Unfair labour practices have proved costly for the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings after former news anchor Mrs Abigail Mvududu attached the company’s 12 vehicles, furniture and broadcasting equipment to recover damages to the tune of US$180 000. But the property will remain in the use of the national broadcaster after it came up with a payment plan of crediting Ms Mvududu’s bank account with US$5 000 every month, failing which the property will be removed and auctioned.
A Sinotruck OB Van, Iveco Radio Uplink, 600 HP desktop computers, 200 HP printers, sets of sofas, cameras, television sets and other equipment were attached.
The vehicles attached are a Toyota Land Cruiser V8, Mazda BT50 (x8), a Ford truck and Rhino Cam (x2).
The property was attached in the presence of ZBC legal manager Mr I Mhlanga.
Mrs Mvududu’s contract of employment was unlawfully terminated in 2004 and the court ordered the national broadcaster to pay her the damages.
A dispute over payment of the damages in United States dollars arose, with ZBC arguing that the contract was terminated during the Zimbabwe dollar era and there was no basis for the conversion.
But the court ruled in Mrs Mvududu’s favour and ordered ZBC to pay the damages as quantified by the court.
ZBC failed to pay the US$180 000, resulting in Mrs Mvududu’s lawyer Mr Charles Kwaramba of Mbidzo, Muchadehama and Makoni obtaining a writ of execution.
On July 8 this year, Mrs Mvududu attached the property and July 14 was set as the date for removal.
But ZBC pleaded hardship, and wrote to Mrs Mvududu’s lawyers begging for stay of removal of the attached property.
ZBC has offered to pay US$5 000 monthly to Mrs Mvududu, while the property remains on attachment.
The lawyers considered the financial challenges ZBC was facing and agreed to the payment plan.
The lawyers insisted that the property may be used, but remained under judicial attachment until payment of the debt in full.
Mvududu was employed by ZBC on November 1, 1996 on a fixed term contract which expired on August 31 2007.
Before the expiry of the contract, ZBC terminated the contract under unclear circumstances, resulting in the matter being taken for arbitration.