BY SILAS NKALA
An MDC Alliance provincial security officer for Matabeleland North has challenged a decision by provincial secretary-general Dalumuzi Khumalo to evict him from a party property in Hwange to pave way for local legislator Daniel Molokele.
Cleopas Ngwenya filed for an interdict at the Hwange Magistrates’ Court on May 17 citing Khumalo and Molokele as respondents.
In his founding affidavit, Ngwenya said on May 6, he received a text message from Khumalo instructing him to move out of the party house in Empumalanga to pave way for Molokele.
“Further, the first respondent (Khumalo) prior to his unofficial message has never made a formal eviction letter or notice.
“The first respondent has no locus standi to evict the applicant from the premises as the said premises are MDC Alliance property and not his own property,” Ngwenya submitted.
“The applicant is employed as the provincial security officer. As part of his conditions of employment, respondent was entitled to reside in a house owned by MDC Alliance in Hwange.
“He duly took effective occupation of MDC Alliance house, 650 Empumalanga, Hwange, upon entering into an employment contract with the party then known as MDC, which was done at national and not provincial level.”
Ngwenya claimed that he worked for the party for almost 10 years and was owed a lot of money in outstanding salaries and terminal benefits.
“Section 13 of the Labour Act clearly states that failure to pay terminal benefits is an unfair labour practice and cannot be condoned. It is viewed with such seriousness by the lawgiver that it is also a criminal offence,” Ngwenya submitted.
“In his SMS, the first respondent does not indicate how I should pay for the alternative accommodation he is suggesting I should seek despite the fact that he knows that I have not been receiving my monthly salaries. His actions are tantamount to constructive dismissal and therefore unlawful.”
Ngwenya said it was mind boggling that Khumalo was disregarding the virtues of human dignity and esteem that social justice and democracy in the law connote.
“Where is the justice, the fairness in all this? Should the law be divorced from justice? Furthermore, the first respondent hasn’t been willing to discuss financial implications of this unlawful eviction on my part and persistent attempts to approach him have been like expecting a stone to bleed and ooze blood. This kind of act is unlawful, inhuman and contrary to the fair Labour practices,” Ngwenya submitted.
“I humbly put it that the first respondent is approaching this matter with dirty hands. He has been trying by all means to force me to work in Lupane at a premise that the MDC Alliance rented from him. My failure to move to Lupane means he is losing income on unpaid rentals.”
“I submit that the respondents actions are highly heavy handed and illegal and tantamount to an interdict. The respondents have no right or lawful excuse whatsoever to evict me from the MDC Alliance’s office. I submit that the respondents’ action of taking the law into their own hands should be frowned upon by the court by granting this order,” he said.
The respondents are yet to file opposition papers.