FORMER Cabinet ministers Sydney Sekeramayi and Saviour Kasukuwere have been accused of neglecting their farm workers and underpaying them.
Kasukuwere and Sekeramayi lost their jobs in November last year after the military pushed former president Robert Mugabe out of power.
Farm workers, who are being represented by the Progressive Agriculture and Allied Industries Workers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PAAWUZ), are accusing Kasukuwere (known as Tyson in some circles) of underpaying them.
Sekeramayi, on the other hand, is accused of failing to pay workers’ benefits running into thousands of dollars.
According to a letter of notification to attend a hearing to be conducted by the agriculture industry’s national employment council (NEC), Sekeramayi is expected to respond to the allegations raised by his 27 workers on March 20.
“You are notified that the matter/appeal concerning alleged non-payment of wages, accommodation, fuel, light allowances and terminal benefits in respect of which a notice of appeal/reference was made on the 03/02/18 and to which you are a party to,” read the notice.
Sekeramayi and the workers were expected to appear before an arbitrator, Edmond July Kupara.
A letter seen by The Standard addressed to Kasukuwere’s wife by the employment council dated March 9, alleged underpayment of wages and improper grading at Corncorpia farm.
She was given seven days to respond and another seven days to settle the matter.
In an interview yesterday, PAAWUZ secretary-general Raymond Sixpence said they would leave no stone unturned in ensuring that workers are not exploited.
“The workers should be educated about their rights and the unions must also be visible on the ground teaching the workers about their rights,” he said.
“The NEC must operate openly and the ministry of labour must fast-track the handling of all labour cases.
“The Labour Act must be amended and Statutory Instrument 116 for the agriculture sector must be amended so that it suits the needs of workers. Workers’ grievances must be solved timeously.”
– The Standard