HARARE – The Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe, publishers of the Daily News, have reportedly fired 11 journalists and other supporting staff using a recent Supreme Court ruling that allows employers to give three months notice before termination of contracts.
The journalists said to have been fired are Lloyd Mbiba, Thelma Chikwanha, Margret Chinowaita, Wendy Muperi, Ray Matikinye, Kudzai Chawafambira, Godfrey Mutimba and Nyasha Chingono.
Sub-editors who were sacked include Sandra Mtetwa, Lizzy Miller and Albert Masaka.
A letter written to the journalists and signed by general, manager human resources, Vongai Makombe indicated that their contracts as read with section 12(4) of the Labour Act required the company to give them three months notice to terminate their contracts.
Workers in Zimbabwe are now at the mercy of employers after the Supreme Court ruled last Friday that companies can lawfully terminate their contracts at any time without offering them packages, provided they are given at least three months notice.
Termination of contract on notice becomes the cheaper way of firing workers for firms as they do not have to give any explanation or conduct disciplinary hearings, let alone follow the expensive retrenchment route.
Workers at Pelhams, Steward Bank, TN Harlequin and Croco Motors became the first victims of the wave of termination of contracts on notice and were being sent home empty-handed.
Econet Wireless handed letters of dismissal to several workers between Monday and yesterday, informing them to immediately stop reporting for duty since their contracts have been cancelled.
AGS (Aviation Ground Services), which operates at the Harare International Airport, also handed letters to several workers that were signed by managing director C Mudyawabikwa dismissing them citing the same Supreme Court ruling.
The situation was the same at Mercedes Benz dealer ZIMOCO which issued letters informing some workers that their contracts had been terminated on three months notice.
“Therefore, with immediate effect, you are not allowed to enter the premises of the company except by way of appointment or when called upon to do so by the employer,” read part of the letter to an affected worker.
New Ziana reported that at least 400 workers lost their jobs after cotton processing company Sino Zimbabwe terminated their contracts using the ruling.
Security guards at the firm barred the workers from entering the company premises in Waterfalls, Harare following the termination of the contracts.
“Our employment contract with you is read with section 12 (4) of the Labour Act requires us to give you three months of notice which we hereby do,” read the termination of contract letter prepared by Sino Zimbabwe.