A FORMER employee of Zvishavane’s biggest construction company who recently accused his war veteran boss of assaulting workers, is in trouble for allegedly forging signatures in a petition submitted to the Labour Court.
Norman Mutuku, who was employed as a guard at Newbase Construction, is alleged to have fraudulently appended six signatures on the petition in a bid to give weight to his labour dispute against his ex-employer.
It was alleged that Mutuku and an ex-colleague Stancilous Tobaiwa, were laid off together with other employees when their contracts expired, but were not paid all their outstanding salaries and benefits.
The two are alleged to have contacted 38 other employees that had been laid off and duped them into submitting a paper with their identification particulars and signatures saying they had made arrangements with Newbase to quickly process their payments.
However, six out of the 38 employees refused to sign and Mutuku allegedly forged their signatures and submitted the list as a supporting document to the petition he lodged at the Labour Court in Masvingo.
The Labour Court’s Mercy Mukosera conducted interviews of the employees listed on the petition, but the six declined saying they were not aware of the matter.
The six approached Newbase’s human resources head Simon Hungwe to complain that their signatures had been forged and action should be taken.
Hungwe filed a report with the company’s lawyer Leopold Mudisi and attached signed affidavits by the six as proof of fraud and submitted them to the Labour Court.
When contacted for comment, Mutuku said he was waiting for the court outcome over the matter.
“I did not sign the documents, but these guys simply withdrew the matter after they were persuaded by Newton Bhasera (Newbase owner) hence we await the court decision,” Mutuku said.
Bhasera said although his company was facing financial challenges it was trying by all means to pay its workers and those laid off
their outstanding dues through proposed payment plans and Mutuku’s actions were just aimed at tarnishing his image.
“This case is enough to table evidence that Mutuku has been conniving with people to tarnish my image in a number of ways,” he said.
“If he can fraudulently forge a colleague’s signature what stops him from blackmailing former employees who owe him?”
Newbase is the largest construction company in the Midlands and has contracts with Mimosa and Unki mines as well as other
mining companies throughout the province.
The company employs over 1 500 workers.