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Judge Postpones Salary Case Involving President Mnangagwa After Failing To Log Into The System

2 months agoSat, 23 Sep 2023 07:53:40 GMT
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Judge Postpones Salary Case Involving President Mnangagwa After Failing To Log Into The System

The High Court has postponed a case in which five workers’ unions are suing their employer and President Emmerson Mnangagwa for blocking them out of salary negotiations.

Justice Lucy Mungwari postponed the hearing to another date after failing to log in to the Integrated Electronic Case Management System (IECMS), a virtual case management system recently rolled by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC). Said Edson Matika representing the unions:

The court faced technical challenges with the IECMS virtual system. This resulted in the case being postponed to Wednesday 27 September 2023 at 9 am on the same platform.

The IECMS (Integrated Electronic Case Management System) was expected to bring about improvements such as electronic case filing, automatic case allocation to judges, electronic case tracking, and virtual hearings, aiming to streamline the judicial process from filing to finalisation. However, the system has faced significant resistance, with litigants and lawyers expressing concerns about delays in delivering justice.

In the current case, several unions, including the Zimbabwe Teachers Association (ZIMTA), the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ), Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe, Educators Union of Zimbabwe (EUZ), and the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA), are suing the government, alleging violations of their labor rights.

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The unions’ application challenges the Public Service Act, arguing that it undermines the labor rights protected by the constitution by granting unilateral decision-making power to the Public Service minister and the Commission. They are advocating for collective bargaining, which allows unions to negotiate employment terms, including pay, benefits, working hours, leave, and workplace safety policies.

The unions seek a court declaration that sections 19, 20, and 31 of the Act are unconstitutional as they facilitate the violation of their members’ labor rights. They argue that the Commission and the Public Service minister have failed to engage in meaningful consultations with public service employees, thus infringing on their labor rights.

The respondents in this case include the Public Service Commission (PSC), President Mnangagwa, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube, the Public Service minister, and the Attorney General.

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