Court News

TANKER DRIVERS DRAG LABOUR COMMISSIONER TO COURT

By GRACE CHAILE LESOETSA

THE Zambia Union of Tanker Drivers and Allied Workers (ZUTDAW) have sued the Labour Commissioner challenging the appointment of non-members to its interim committee.

ZUTDAW wants the Lusaka High Court to declare the Labour Commissioner’s decision to appoint non-members to form part of its interim committee illegal and void.

The union requested the court to quash the decision and also an order of mandamus to oblige the Labour Commissioner to reconsider his decision in line with the law.

The Attorney General has been cited as respondent in the matter.

This is contained in the application for leave to apply for judicial review filed by Simeza, Sangwa and Associates.

ZUTDAW stated that on February 24, this year, the Labour Commissioner wrote to the union that independent auditors had been appointed to audit its books of accounts for 2019 to 2020.

The union was again informed on April 26 that its executive committee had been suspended, claiming that the independent auditor had recommended the suspension to ensure the audit was conducted smoothly.

ZUTDAW stated that later a tripartite consultative labour council was held on April 23, this year where it was resolved that the executive committee be suspended until further notice.

It said that as per request of the Labour Commissioner, it submitted 18 names to be considered for appointment to the interim executive committee.

“However, in total disregard of the law, the Labour Commissioner ignored the list submitted by the applicant and instead appointed 12 members of the interim executive committee, six of whom are non-members and therefore ineligible for appointment to the interim executive committee of the applicant,” it stated.

The six non-members appointed to the interim executive include Alick Kunda (OGAZ Zambia Ltd), Francis Banda (ALFA Haulier Ltd) and Emmanuel Sichilima (AARRE Logistics).

Others were Steve Wonder Chimanya, John Chalwe and Sydney Bwalya, all from Lake Transport Logistics.

ZUTDAW protested the appointment of the six through a letter dated June 30, 2021 addressed to the Commissioner. But the Commissioner is adamant.

It stated that the Labour Commissioner abrogated ZUTDAW’s section 21 (5) (b) and (c) of the Act to appoint persons who are not members of the union to constitute the interim committee.

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