Latest News Editor's Choice

Opinion / Columnist

What does it take for the judiciary to hear a matter before them?

14 Jul 2021 at 15:37hrs | Views
Marvo Stationary Manufacturing Company employees have not been paid their unpaid salaries since the United States Dollar and  the use of the multi currency regime during the Government of National Unity "GNU" era between 2009 and 2014. Of particular concern is the fact that the employees and other debtors case have  not been heard by the High Court in Bulawayo, despite the matter being brought to the courts over ten years ago.

Year in year out the Bulawayo High Court and the defendant Lawyers always come up with one excuse or another to postpone the matter before it's even heard. This year also the workers representatives and the Judiciary Manager have paid whatever is needed for the High Court to sit and do their work but the date hasn't been set for the hearing of the Marvo matter as always.

As the Marvo employees we have done our part in as far as this matter is concerned, we opened a criminal charge with police to date nothing has been done. When the so called Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission "ZACC" was formulated we reported the Marvo directors to them to date nothing has been done despite clear evidence of acts of criminality by Marvo Directors especially Matt and Tswelelo Valela.

The so called New Dispensation that came about in 2017 through a coup, promised to restore the rule of law to date they have done nothing in that regard if anything, they have become worse than before. It boggles the mind to see criminals walking around freely while the poor gets poorer. One wonders if there is a law for the rich and another for the poor.

Marvo Employees are owed between $3000 and up to $15 000 in US dollars and have been living in poverty for over a decade, while those who owe them are making more money using our sweat. This is unacceptable and should be condemned in the strongest terms possible by all progressive citizens. One wonders why are the workers unions quite and why is the Labour Court not acting on time?

We are aware that the Marvo directors and the Judiciary Manager are ZANU PF members connected and protected thus why nothing is happening to them. These are people who applied and were given a One Million United States Dollars, which was released by government specifically meant for what they called Re-industrialisation, Re-Capitalisation and Re-tooling among other terms they used at the time during the GNU but none of this was done instead all this money was looted and used to import finished stationery from South Africa at the expense of local industry. The company which used to employ over 1, 500 employees now employs less that ten of them, to sell finished products they import from SA. Their workforce is seating at home wallowing in poverty while the Judiciary and government does nothing about it.

Over 70% of Marvo employees are now on retirement age, yet they have waited for their unpaid salaries for over a decade ago now, most of them are bedridden sick, while others have since passed on, several of them committed suicide. All this was and is as a result of the trauma and stress they are suffering because of Marvo stationery. Most of Marvo employees were employed permanently at a tender age and have always survived on their salaries and nothing else obviously they were not ready for what the Valelas did to them, hence you see today some of them being destitute.

I personally have been an activist for a long-time defending the poor and powerless citizens in our society and I find it very much unacceptable for me to be a victim of Human Rights  abuses and let go. Yet I have been a victim of abuse by Marvo Directors, we can't tolerate that. I want my money without any further delay because this is not a social grant but a deserved salary.

This year we will not allow the High Court to ignore this case once again, in our last Marvo workers meeting with the workers committee we had suggested that we mobilize and go and stage a seat in at Browns Stationery Shop at Robert Mugabe way and nineth avenue until we get our money because we know where our money is and who has it, our money is with the Valelas, but the workers committee persuaded us to wait for the High Court and now clearlywe can't wait any longer.

We will be left with no choice but to mobilize Marvo workers, our union, the widows and children of former Marvo employees to go as well as political activists and ask for our money from the Marvo Directors and Mr C Mwete the Judicial Manager any time soon. The Justice system has failed us. The company owes about US$3Million to over One Hundred workers, Cabs and ZB banks as well as BCC, ZESA among others not because the company wasn't making profits but because money was looted out of the company coffers.

Right now we have been made to sit at home doing nothing while suffering in poverty because of the Covid-19 inspired lockdown restrictions. Those who loot the country continue to do so, one wonders why is the Zimbabwean media ignoring such kind of criminality, why are people like the Valelas not being investigated?

We expect the press to follow through the Courts, ZAAC, and ZRP to ask them why won't they act to protect the poor workers? Why did the money meant for Re-industrialisation was diverted and used for something else and nothing is done about it?

Enough is Enough

Bringback our money.

Mbonisi Gumbo is a Marvo employee writing in his personal capacity.

Source - Mbonisi Gumbo
All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.