BULAWAYO High Court Judge Justice Martin Makonese has blocked the sale of Rubber Products Manufacturers’ property, which had been attached by 15 workers over outstanding salaries.
The sale was stopped after it emerged that the property in question had already been sold to Arenel Company.
The workers had in February 4, 2015 obtained a writ of execution to attach property worth $82 191, 38 to recover money owed in unpaid salaries and wages dating back to January 2014.
The deputy sheriff last year attached property worth $78 054,65 from the company through a court order issued on January 13, 2015 at the High Court in Bulawayo.
Following the attachment of the property, a boilermaker worth $12 650 was bought by Arenel Company in Bulawayo through Hollands Auctineers and cash transfers from the Arenel’s CABS account into Hollands Account at MBCA Bank were made on January 20 2016. It, however, emerged Hollands was yet to give the money to the workers through the deputy sheriff.
But court papers show that Rubber Products’ mother company, Parkham Enterprises filed an urgent chamber application in Harare blocking the sale of the property.
In the application, Parkham Enterprises cited Assistant Master and Sherriff of the High Court as respondents, leaving workers with no leeway to file opposition papers.
In his ruling delivered on Januaty 21 this year, Makonese ordered that the Assistant Master and sheriff must oppose the confirmation of the provisional order by filing notice to oppose together with opposing affidavits at the Registrar of the High Court within 10 days of which failure would lead to an order for a permanent stay of execution and a hearing will held at the High Court in Harare.
The wrangle between Rubber Products Manufacturers and the workers arose in January 2014 when management sent staff on leave and promised to pay them every month, but defaulted.
The matter was taken for conciliation at the Ministry of Labour and later referred to an arbitrator, who on October 14, 2014 ordered the firm to pay workers a total of $78 054.
Management failed to comply with the order, prompting workers to register the award with the High Court, culminating in a writ of execution dated January 22, 2015.