THIRTY-FIVE former Mwamona Engineering Company employees in Luanshya have sued the company’s managing director Chishimba Kambwili for wrongfully terminating their contracts.
Christopher Mwaba of house number 74 Telecoma Avenue in Luanshya and 34 others have sued Mr Kambwili in the Ndola Industrial Relations Court, claiming compensation for unlawful termination of contract in March this year.
When the matter came up for hearing before presiding chairperson Winnie Mwenda seated with Joseph Bwalya and William Siame, Mr Mwaba testified that he and 34 others were employed by Mr Kambwili on different dates and that he later terminated their employment without notice, which amounted to breach of contract and unlawful termination of employment.
Mr Mwaba asked the court to compel Mr Kambwili, who is Youth and Sport Minister, to compensate them for the damages suffered after being laid off.
When asked by defence council Caristo Mukonka if Mr Kambwili was the one that employed him in 2012, Mr Mwaba said it was not Mr Kambwili who gave him the letter of offer but a Mr Joseph Phiri, who was the company’s technical director, gave Mr Mwaba the letter because the firm did not have a human resources officer then.
Mr Mwaba said he was recruited at 14 Shaft to dismantle the mine shaft’s overhead gear on a three months renewable contract that was dependant on the process of dismantling the overhead gear.
He said the company only established its offices after using money that was earned as a result of the hard work by the workers.
“After we worked hard and made money that is when the company got its offices at plot 57A Fourth Street in Luanshya and the human resource officer was also employed,” he said.
Mr Mwaba said he was surprised when his contract and those of 34 others were terminated in March this year without a lawful reason.
The case was adjourned to February 17, 2015 for continued hearing.
Times of Zambia