Thursday, August 01, 2013

Guard walks home naked after employer grabs uniform
By Lemmy Likando in Mazabuka
Wed 17 July 2013, 14:00 CAT

A 53-YEAR-OLD security guard of Mazabuka district was last week forced to walk home naked after his employer dismissed and forced him to hand over the company uniform after he allegedly deserted his workplace. He has since, however, been reinstated.

Likwasi Chimonde, a resident of Kabbobola compound last week walked in his pants from Kaleya to his home, a distance of about three kilometres, after CHC Commodities project manager Baker Russell ordered him to undress and hand in his uniform on allegations that he failed to provide security at the workplace.

Mazabuka district senior labour officer Charles Muwowo confirmed that his office received a complaint of unfair dismissal and inhuman treatment from Chimonde, who was employed as a watchman by CHC Commodities, a grain storage company located within Mazabuka township.

Muwowo said he decided to summon Russell to his office after Chimonde lodged a complaint that he was dismissed instantly and forced to walk home naked after he decided to lock the gate and leave the premises in order to buy some painkillers upon developing a headache.

He disclosed that Chimonde was ordered to surrender the company uniform by Russell who went to the company premises around 20:00 hours and discovered that Chimonde was not present on site.
"This watchman claims he was not feeling well when he reported for duty around 18:00 hours and that around 19:00 hours he decided to go to nearby shops to buy some painkillers and it was that time that his project manager (Russell) visited the site and discovered that the guard was absent and the place unmanned," narrated Muwowo.

Muwowo further disclosed that when Chimonde returned to his place of duty, he found Russell, who was inside the premises after jumping over the gate and immediately demanded the company uniform from him before ordering him to go back home.

He said during his discussions with the two men, Russell, who admitted ordering Chimode to take off the uniform, apologised over his action and promised to reinstate him immediate.

Muwowo said Russell, in his defence, said he reacted in such a manner because Chimonde put the company property at risk, which he said was worth millions of kwacha and that if Chimonde was unwell as he claimed, he should have simply phoned him so that he could be excused from work.
He described the incident as a serious violation of human rights, warning that his office would not hesitate to bring to book employers who deliberately violate the Zambian labour laws.

Muwowo cautioned employees to ensure they follow regulations of the entities they work for in order to avoid getting into conflict with their employers.

Meanwhile, Muwowo revealed that the labour office in the district has this year handled a total of 127 labour complaints and recovered a total of K136, 000 on behalf of various deserving employees who reported their complaints to the office.

He told the district development and coordinating committee meeting that despite facing numerous operational challenges, his office remained committed to ensuring that labour laws are strictly followed and adhered to by both employers and employees.

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