BULAWAYO Labour Court Judge President Mercy Moya Matshanga has ordered the Zimbabwe United Passengers Company (Zupco) to reinstate a bus inspector who was fired for allegedly allowing the bus to ferry a passenger who had not paid a fare.
The ailing government parastatal sometime last year in June fired Wesley Takura Musakaruka after the bus he was traveling in was found with a passenger who had not paid a bus fare from Bulawayo to Mutare.
Following his dismissal, Musakaruka took up the matter to the Labour Court through the Transport and General Workers’ Union, citing unfair dismissal.
In his grounds of appeal, Musakaruka submitted that there was no evidence to prove that he was working on the Mutare bus, as he had in fact worked on a Harare-bound bus.
“The passenger who was found without ticket was on the Mutare-bound bus,” he said.
“The penalty meted out is inconsistent with the provisions of the code of conduct which provides that the penalty for gross incompetence and inefficiency in the performance of duty is a final written warning for a first breach and not dismissal.”
Musakaruka said the passenger, who claimed to have paid $15 for the trip, when asked for a ticket, said she had lost it.
The judge upheld his application and ruled that the appeal was upheld and the company must reinstate Musakaruka to his former position without loss of salary and benefits.
“The parties are to agree on the longer option, the appellant be paid damages in lieu thereof,” she ruled.
“Parties are to agree on the quantum of damages. In the event that they fail to agree, they should approach the court for quantification. The respondent is to pay costs of the appeal.”
Facts of the matter are that on June 5 2014, inspectors checked passengers on a Mutare-bound Zupco bus on which they found a passenger with a ticket for his luggage and non for herself.
On being asked why she had no ticket, she told the inspectors to ask the conductor.
A misunderstanding ensued and the conductor said he had been told to transport the passenger by an inspector at the Khami Depot in Bulawayo. Police got involved and the passenger paid the fare.
Both the inspector and the conductor were charged and dismissed.