The High Court, Dar es Salaam zone has ordered the Tanzania and Zambia Railway Authority (Tazara) to compensate its 270 former employees who were forced to retire at the age of 55 instead of 60.
The verdict was reached by a panel of three judges after having approved the appeal of the said workers that the decision made by their employer was unlawful.
A panel of Judges John Utamwa and Iman Aboud led by Judge Augustine Mwarija ordered Tazara to pay the employees in question two-year salaries as compensation.
The panel also ordered Tazara to pay the appellants a compensation for not submitting their contribution that used to be deducted every month and channeled to their respective social security funds.
Tazara forced the workers to retire at different times between 2000 and 2005 after turning 55 which is the voluntary retirement age according to the regulation of 1968 that was improved in 1999.
However, the workers objected claiming that the decision of their former employer violated the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) Act No. 9 of 2000 and Treasury Agent No. 1 of 2000, which required them to retire after attaining 60 years of age.
After they were forced to retire, they filed a case in the Labour Division of the High Court against the decision of their former employer, requesting to have the employer reinstate them to their former positions.
The panel stated that in accordance with Treasury Agent No. 1 of 2000, the compulsory retirement age for all employees of public agencies, including the Tazara and other government employees is 60 years.
Furthermore, the court ordered Tazara to pay the appellants compensation of the 24 months of their contributions to social security funds, as when the employer stopped channeling money to the social security funds after the forceful retirement, the employees ended up with small amounts of pensions.