Since the establishment of the Zimbabwe Network for Social Justice (ZimJustice) – a platform for networking between social justice activists and lawyers, in order to bring justice to unpaid and exploited workers – allegations of corruptions at labor courts have been reaching us at very worrying levels.
Employers have been abusing and exploiting workers with impunity for far too long, but as if that was not bad enough, the labour courts – which are meant to bring justice to these workers – are now allegedly adding to the pain and misery.
These allegations are mainly centred on corruption – which undoubtedly has become a grave cancer in Zimbabwean society.
One of the many disturbing allegations is that of a company contracted with operating some of the country’s southern region toll gates, that is reported to have employed a former labour court official as its Human Resources Officer.
Such a set up has caused anguish amongst the company’s workforce, as they believe that their grievances are now being disregarded by both their employer and the labour court, as the HR officer still has considerable influence with her former colleagues at the court.
Allegations are that, some of the company’s employees, who have lodged complaints with the labour court, received draft rulings in their favour, only to have these dubiously overturned by the same labour officer.
There are so many other similar allegations levelled against labour courts.
It is, therefore, the belief of ZimJustice that such allegations should be thoroughly investigated, as not doing so would be a huge betrayal to this country’s workforce – who are the true backborne of the country.
ZimJustice will work with all relevant stakeholders, such as anti-corruption organisations, the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC), and the police, to ensure that all forms of rot, corruption, and injustice are rooted out of the labour court system.
The courts are supposed to be the only fora where the oppressed and abused may seek and find justice, and as such, anyone who stands in the way of such justice being fulfiled should be exposed and brought to book.
In fact, ZimJustice will name and shame all those labour officers and the companies involved in the corruption and conspiracy to perpetuate workers’ slavery.
Such companies should be gravely penalised and blacklisted and their operating licences revoked for such actions.
ZimJustice invites anyone with information that may be helpful in investigating and exposing such cases to come forward, as their identities will be kept confidential.
Tendai Ruben Mbofana is the Programmes Director at the Zimbabwe Network for Social Justice (ZimJustice), and can be contacted on: +263782283975, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org