via Bulawayo24 NEWS | ‘Jonathan Moyo’s ZBC move illegal’ 04 February 2014
Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation Holdings (ZBC) could soon find itself in a legal storm with its workers over a ministerial directive to cut their salaries back to 2010 levels, legal experts have said.
Rodgers Matsikidze, a labour lawyer, said the directive issued by Information, Media and Broadcasting Services minister Jonathan Moyo last week to ZBC Holdings that the corporations’ salaries should revert to 2010 levels, had legal implications which could cost the organisation.
Matsikidze said, according to the law, if the salary increment for the general workers was negotiated, then the directive was “illegal” regardless of the fact that there was no board approval.
“If the salaries general workers were receiving before the slash came as result of a negotiations and were approved by their management, then there is a real legal challenge.
“This might not be the case with executives whose salaries are approved by the board,” he said.
Government last week slashed ZBC Holdings salaries back to 2010 levels, stating that the organisation effected the increments without the approval of the board.
Most of the increments, according to Moyo, were 100% and were effected without the approval of the board.
“In view of these anomalies, particularly the fact that the current salaries at ZBC Holdings were not approved by the board, it is necessary for ZBC Holdings to now revert with immediate effect to the salaries that were approved by the board for all staff levels in 2010,” Moyo said.
“Where was the minister responsible for this organisation when all this was happening? Workers can challenge that, it is very wrong for general workers to suffer because of someone’s negligence,” said Matsikidze.
Another lawyer, Alec Muchadehama, said it was illegal to reduce anybody’s salary if it was increased by “a person with that authority”.
“Where on earth have you seen salaries being reduced just like that? It is unlawful and ZBC should brace itself for a legal battle,” Muchadehama said.