A White Beatrice farmer Rob Kind has been taken to court by a labour union,Progressive Agriculture and Allied Workers Union of Zimbabwe(PAAWUZ) for allegedly failing to pay union dues.
The case is being heard at the Beatrice Magistrate Court and during the trial yesterday before Magistrate Babra Maketo ,PAAWUZ ,which is the complainant represented by its general secretary Phillip Mafundu took the Beatrice farmer to task over his failure to deduct and remit union subscriptions of his workers .
It is the state case that in August 2019 ,Mafundu representing PAAWUZ visited the accused’s farm soliciting for union membership where he met some workers who then joined the union.
“Sometime in the month of August 2019 and at Nyarugondo Farm,Beatrice ,the complainant visited the farms in a bid to liase with the accused person’s employees so that they could join his PAAWUZ union and be legally represented by the union.
“The employees’ farm workers joined the complainant’s union and the complainant then informed the accused person and gave him stop order forms signed by the employees so that they could be legally represented by the union and that they were to collect USD$3.00 from each member as joining fee for the month of September 2019,”reads part of the state outline.
The union say the failure by the farmer to deduct and remit the dues since 2019 has costed them over US$4 000 crippling its work as a labor union.
“Due to reasons known to himself ,the accused failed to collect the subscriptions of the US$3.00 from each member per month from September 2019 to September 2022.
“For the court’s knowledge ,as a result of this predujice ,the union has been struggling to fulfill its mandate of representing farm workers,”PAAWUZ general secretary Mafundu told the court.
The farmer represented by a lawyer one Chitowamambo from Atukwa Attorneys legal firm was at pains to try to distance himself from the allegations saying he did not receive the stop orders in person.
However,the Prosecutor Munyaradzi Karimazondo asked him to confirm if he had learnt of the visit of the union to which he affirmatively responded.
The gallery was left puzzled with how the Beatrice farmer was trying to evade from being liable to the offense to as far as claiming that he was not responsible for recruiting of workers but at the same time confirming that he does the day-to-day running of the farm.
The magistrate Babra Mateko after hearing the submissions from both the complainant and the defense counsel handed 23 November as the judgement day.