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Zimbabwe Power Utility Appeals 'Negative' Arbitration Outcome

The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Holdings has approached the High Court seeking to nullify the awarding of a 40 percent salary increase to its employees granted in June through voluntary arbitration arguing that the arbitrator representing workers Lovemore Madhuku was biased.

The utility company argued that Madhuku was registered with Matsikidze and Mucheche, a law firm that has strong links with ZESA workers.

But sources said ZESA Holdings arbitrator George Makings once worked for the same company but the other party never expressed any reservations over the matter.

Makings and Madhuku concurred in awarding the pay rise. The lowest paid worker's salary was increased from $196 to $275 a month.

Lawyer Jeremiah Bamu of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights told Studio 7 ZESA Holding was just trying to buy time by raising this issue since voluntary arbitration allows competing parties to choose their representatives.

ZESA has since suspended 132 workers without pay and benefits for demanding compliance with the voluntary arbitral award. Sixty-one of these employees are in the eastern region while 71 others are in the northern region which includes the capital city, Harare.