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UTC auction on hold

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HARARE — Defunct tour operator and travel agent United Touring Company (UTC)’s ex-workers have agreed to put the auction of the company’s assets on hold until September 4 after it promised to pay them off.

They have given the company an ultimatum up to September 4 to pay them off or they would go ahead and attach property.

UTC assets were set to go under the hammer after 23 former workers were granted an order by the High Court last month to attach property to recover $186 000 in terminal benefits after the company folded more than three years ago.

The Messenger of Court moved in to attach the property, comprising a fuel service station, a depot and a house in Victoria Falls last month, but company management sought a temporary reprieve to raise the money.

The workers then applied for an order whereby the former employer is barred from taking any action in relation to the said property without informing the workers.

“They requested that we stop attaching for now and promised to pay us by September 4.

They promised to pay everyone, including legal and messenger of court fees and we did a caveat notice to the High Court so that when they renege we would go ahead and attach the property,” the 23 former workers said, speaking through their lawyers Dube and Company.

Speaking from Harare, a UTC official only identified as Mrs Seckham, told The Source the company was in the process of raising money to pay the workers ahead of the ultimatum.

“We are in the process of trying to sort our paperwork to sell some properties and pay them out. For now we can’t say much until next week,” she said adding; “it is not like the company doesn’t want to pay them.”

The majority shareholders in the company are Labour minister Nicholas Goche and his Environment counterpart Saviour Kasukuwere, who took over the once leading tour operator a few years ago and reportedly agreed in July 2011 to retrench all the workers and pay them terminal benefits by October the same year.

— The Source

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