Fungai Lupande Senior Court Reporter
The Associated Mine Workers’ Union of Zimbabwe (AMWUZ) has taken the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) to the High Court demanding the return of their financial records which the anti-corruption body seized.
In their urgent chamber application for a spoliation order, AMWUZ claims that the documents were taken without a warrant of seizure or court order.
They added that ZACC did not explain why they took the documents.
“I pray for the return of the documents, records and an order declaring the seizure unlawful,” read the draft order.
“I also pray for an interdict barring ZACC or its officers from threatening to arrest and seizing the applicant’s records without disclosing the crime they are being investigated for.”
ZACC officials Owen Mutembwa, Michael Kashiri and Wellemu Adamu were cited as respondents.
“The applicant has the right to privacy in terms of the Constitution of Zimbabwe,” read the application.
“The union has a membership of about 15 000 members in the mining sector including managerial employees.
“ZACC officials approached AMWUZ’s bookkeeper Melody Jhamba demanding the constitution, bank statements from January 2016 to date.”
They said ZACC also demanded records of all electronic money transfers done through the Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) platform and phone numbers of all the national executive members.
They added that the information was confidential and the union was preparing for an audit, a process abruptly stopped by the seizure.
“On June 29, 2016, ZACC officers took our records in a similar manner. The records were from 2009 to 2016,” they said.
“The only difference is that at that stage the officers had a search warrant. They later returned the documents and we did not hear from ZACC for three years.”
AMWUZ claim that they suspect that ZACC has been misled by rival trade unions who were busy recruiting from their membership.
The rivalry stemmed from the fact that all the other unions did not sit on the National Employment Council with the Chamber of Mines, they said.