Zvikomborero Parafini, Court Reporter
FORMER Mines and Mining Development secretary Francis Gudyanga was back in court yesterday where a Harare magistrate dismissed his application for exception.
Gudyanga is accused of violating the Labour Act by Marange Diamonds former employees in unpaid pensions amounting to over $130 000.
He is representing the company as he is its director and filed his plea and exception which was dismissed by Magistrate Victoria Mashamba.
In giving her ruling, Mashamba said the application was unnecessary as the State’s papers clearly disclose the offence contrary to Gudyanga’s claims in his application and the application lacked merit.
“Application for exception can only be granted if the State’s papers are not disclosing an offense or if the accused person will be embarrassed in his defense and in this case, the papers are clear that he allegedly contravened the Labour Act.
“The issues raised by the defence are triable which need to be resolved through trial; the lawyer said the State is basing on facts which have been determined in the High Court in civil proceedings but in fact, the Criminal Court does not require an order of the High Court or Labour Court to first make a finding that there has been unfair labour practice,” said Magistrate Mashamba.
Prosecuting Idah Maromo is alleging that from April 2010 to December 2015, Marange Diamonds was deducting money from 17 employees’ salaries on a monthly basis for pension contributions.
It is further alleged that Marange Diamonds was supposed to remit $131 563 to the Mining Industry Pension Fund on behalf of its employees but upon termination of their contracts, the mining industry fund couldn’t pay pension benefits because Marange Diamonds wasn’t remitting anything to it.
The matter was remanded to June 1 for trial.