Blow for Hwange Colliery as Mine Workers Wives Gets High Court Nod to Protest
HIGH Court Judge Justice Lavender Makoni on Tuesday 27 February 2018 dealt a major blow to Hwange Colliery Company (HCC)’s bid to evict and bar spouses of mineworkers from protesting over payment of outstanding wages and salaries for their husbands.
HCC had early this month petitioned the High Court seeking an order to evict the spouses of the HCC employees from occupying the company’s premises in Hwange in Matabeleland North province and to bar them from staging protests demanding payment of their husbands’ wages and salaries.
In an application filed by HCC’s lawyers from Mawere Sibanda Commercial Lawyers, the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed coal-miner wanted the High Court to grant an order compelling Zimbabwe Republic Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga, the Officer-In-Charge of Hwange Police Station and the Sherriff of the High Court, to assist in evicting the protesting women and their children from occupying the premises.
The HCC argued that it had unsuccessfully sought the services of ZRP in evicting the protesting women, whom it argued were disrupting the coal miner’s day to day operations, as the law enforcement agents had argued that the spouses had a right to protest and petition as provided in the Constitution.
But Justice Makoni on Tuesday 27 February 2018 dismissed HCC’s application and ordered the coal miner to pay the costs incurred by the spouses of the HCC employees in defending the High Court urgent chamber application.
The spouses have since January been staging demonstrations at HCC’s premises protesting against the coal miner’s failure to pay wages and salaries for their husbands as and when they became due for the last five years.
Munyaradzi Gwisai &Partners represented the spouses of the HCC employees led by Claris Ngoma and Amarry Saula and who were cited as fourth and fifth respondent respectively while Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights’ member Obey Shava represented Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, which supported the women’s cause and which was cited by HCC as sixth respondent in the coal miner’s urgent chamber application.