- TENDAYI TAMANIKWA (2) FRANK TINARWO (3) EMMERSON PAMIRE (4) TENDAI MOMBESHORA
ZIMBABWE MANPOWER DEVELOPMENT FUND
SUPREME COURT OF ZIMBABWE
ZIYAMBI JA, GOWORA JA & OMERJEE AJA
HARARE, OCTOBER 15 & JULY 16, 2013
G Machingambi, for the appellant
C Mucheche, for the respondent
GOWORA JA: This appeal from a decision by the Labour Court concerns the interpretation of seemingly conflicting provisions within the Labour Act [Cap. 28:01], and, additionally the conflict between the Labour Act itself, (“the Act”) and the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Conditions of Service and Misconduct) Regulations S.I.258/1996, “the Regulations”.
The respondent is a statutory body which is created in terms of s 47 of the Manpower Planning and Development Act [Cap. 28:02]. In terms of s 69 of the same Act, the Minister is empowered to enact regulations, which, in the opinion of the Minister, would enhance the performance of the functions of the respondent. In the exercise of those powers the Minister caused the promulgation of the Regulations.
The appellants were employed by the respondent in various capacities. On 18 August 2009, the appellants were given instructions to sign declarations of secrecy following upon the leakage of information of a confidential nature from the respondent’s office. All of the appellants refused to sign the declarations and they were charged with disobeying a lawful instruction. A second charge of hindering or obstructing another employee in the performance of his duties which was preferred against the second appellant could not be sustained and was dismissed.Following upon disciplinary proceedings all the appellants were found guilty of the charges and dismissed from employment.Dissatisfied with their dismissal, they appealed to the Trustee, who is the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, in terms of s 44 of the Regulations and were unsuccessful. Dissatisfied with the dismissal of that appeal, they noted an appeal to the Labour Court. They were unsuccessful before the Labour Court which held that there was no right of appeal to the Labour Court provided for in the Regulations. They have as a consequence, appealed to this Court.