Features

Drama At Zambezi Crescent As Management Is Taken To Court Over Labour Disputes

Top Victoria Falls Luxury Accommodation Establishment Reportedly Distorted Figures and Failed To Manage Employee Pension Funds By Mutizwa Chivanga A Victoria Falls leisure and hospitality company has been taken to task over allegations of distorting figures and failure to manage employee funds including pensions. Reports reaching the Sunday Express say that documents on court roll at the Victoria Falls Magistrates Court show that the company – Zambezi Crescent allegedly mishandled the processing of employee benefits before and during the COVID-19 period, this includes the submitting distorted figures of employee earnings to First Mutual, the Pension Fund handling NEC Tourism Pensions. On its website, the company is listed as one of the plush accommodation venues just upstream from Zimbabwe’s prime Victoria Falls where two luxury Zambezi Crescent Collection accommodation offerings are located. It is described as ideally situated to explore the iconic Victoria Falls, Victoria Falls River Lodge Luxury Tented Suites – and the Victoria Falls River Lodge Island Treehouse Suites – offering guests a fresh perspective on an unforgettable vacation through their unique combination of the African Safari experience and visits to one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle

Top Victoria Falls Luxury Accommodation Establishment Reportedly Distorted Figures and Failed To Manage Employee Pension Funds

 

By Mutizwa Chivanga

 

A Victoria Falls leisure and hospitality company has been taken to task over allegations of distorting figures and failure to manage employee funds including pensions.

Reports reaching the Sunday Express say that documents on court roll at the Victoria Falls Magistrates Court show that the company – Zambezi Crescent allegedly mishandled the processing of employee benefits before and during the COVID-19 period, this includes the submitting distorted figures of employee earnings to First Mutual, the Pension Fund handling NEC Tourism Pensions.

On its website, the company is listed as one of the plush accommodation venues just upstream from Zimbabwe’s prime Victoria Falls where two luxury Zambezi Crescent Collection accommodation offerings are located.

It is described as ideally situated to explore the iconic Victoria Falls, Victoria Falls River Lodge Luxury Tented Suites – and the Victoria Falls River Lodge Island Treehouse Suites – offering guests a fresh perspective on an unforgettable vacation through their unique combination of the African Safari experience and visits to one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.

 

 

But beyond that – a former employee told this correspondent that the manager Mr Roddy Meiring and accountant, Rudolph – had submitted wrong information to the Pension Fund for processing by the Pension Fund, denied her leave days and failed to process her retrenchment despite claiming that her contract was terminated in June 2020

Despite earning $340 a month, the company reportedly stated that the employee earned $170 when in fact there was evidence that she was earning $340 from her payslip.

Management went on to give conflicting information regarding the way employment was terminated. In one audio message, the manager is heard saying her contract expired in June of 2020, and at the same time saying she resigned without giving the date of resignation.

However, according to the lady, she resigned on the 30 of September 2021 as evidenced by her email, to which the manager Roddy Meiring responded. She said her resignation was motivated by the change in working conditions, which had become irregular and made it difficult to support her children.

Court papers of which this correspondent has a copy reveal that Zambezi Crescent engaged the employee in April 2015 until the abrupt termination of her employment in June of 2020, with the company citing the Covid-19 pandemic as reasons for her layoff.

 

 

The employee was reportedly only given some groceries between July 2020 to June 2021, when she was called back on a half salary and denied her retrenchment package as stipulated by section 12D of the Labour Act Chapter 28:01. She was reportedly called back to work in July of 2021, where she worked for 3 months, before resigning on 30 September 2021.

Upon requesting her terminal benefits, she was told via email by the general manager Meiring that she was not entitled to anything as she was just a contract worker.

However, Statutory Instrument 52 of 2016 of the Tourism industry states that a fixed-term contract is deemed to be permanent upon completion of four years of continuous service.

This means that the company should have either used section 12D of the Labour Act Chapter 28:01 to terminate her employment in June 2020, as the law now deemed her to be a permanent employee as of April 2019.

As a result of the actions of Zambezi Crescent management, the lady could have been prejudiced of over US$6000 in outstanding salaries and Covid-19 allowances, monies she is now seeking relief from the courts of law.

Further to this, management denied the lady her right to vacation leave, for the 6 years that she worked. In their defence, the management claimed that she was given more off days and hence had no right to take vacation leave.

Mr Roddy Meiring, in an email, that this correspondent has a copy of, further told the lady that she had already lost the case that she had placed before the NEC Tourism designated urgent Mr Kingstone Murenje, well before the determination by the designated agent, consequently raising her suspicion that the outcome would be biased.

 

 

 

Her suspicion was confirmed when the determination came, as core issues to the case were ignored and the ruling was given against her favour.

This has prompted the lady to seek relief from the Labour Court, where she is claiming over US$ 9000, in unpaid annual leave days, unpaid salaries, and Covid-19 allowances.

In voice notes supplied to the Sunday Express correspondent, Mr Meiring said that the case was unjustified, was an absolute nothing of a case, and that the employee in question had in fact falsified information and was trying to damage the brand by getting the matter publicised in efforts to get something out of it.

The voice notes said, that Zambezi Crescent was completely innocent in the matter and that the litigant was obviously being encouraged by somebody else to make a case about it and hopefully get something out of it.

“She resigned a year ago, her contract ended before Covid, she was on a fixed-term contract, her contract was not withdrawn, but she found another job. So these are just false accusations against us, she was not denied of anything, she had a salary in US dollars, but she is now trying to extort us.

“If she has any proof that she was let off badly or she has any proof of any wrongdoing on our aside, then we are happy to see the proof, if she can prove to you or to me that there was anything wrong that we did, then let’s see the proof.

“But as it is, we have the proof of anything else about how she left and her resignation letter, but the burden is on her to prove to me or to anyone. It is unjustified action on her behalf, and she is only trying to get something out of this. I know that it is being encouraged by somebody else.

 

 

 

“Somebody else is obviously educating her and trying to influence her to get anything out of it. She wrote a resignation letter last year, she was on a fixed-term contract, and during Covid, we were helping our employees with food parcels, but she did not come back because she had found another job in town, but now she is making false accusations on us,” Mr Meiring said in the voice notes while responding to the questions from this correspondent.

A telephonic interview with the Pensions Officer revealed that Zambezi Crescent had started making contribution payments, and had also submitted documentation for the processing of pensions on the 6th of June, almost a year after the date management claim the lady’s contract was terminated.

This correspondent is can confirm that there is indeed a court case pending against Zambezi Crescent at the Labour Court, on the 23rd of June in Hwange. This is a developing story and more updates will be available on Zimbabwe Digital Express platforms.

Mutizwa Chivanga is the Digital Sunday Express Correspondent in Victoria Falls. The views expressed do not necessarily represent the editorial position of the Sunday Express Group Of Newspapers. Contact Chivanga at (263) 77 599 5985.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Twitter:@realdigitalnews
Facebook: Zimbabwe Digital Express


Zimbabwe Digital Express

Contact: (+27) 834767918
See News Differently
Facebook: Zimbabwe Digital Express

 

 

 

 

 

What's your reaction?

Related Posts

No Content Available

Leave A Reply

Please Login to Comment.

Open chat
Scan the code
Subscribe to the Sunday Express, and Qualify For Amazing Reader Rewards. Receive The Sunday Express Four Times, A Month For Only R49 or $4. Text (27) 83 476 7918.