The High Court’s Industrial Relations Division Court has upheld the labour’s commissioner’s position that Joe Kamutumwa is the Substantive General Secretary for the Agriculture Technical Professional Staff Union of Zambia as his suspension was illegal.
In 2017 the Mr Kamutumwa was suspended by an illegal national Executive Council Meeting of the union on allegations of mishandling union affairs, the claims he denied and described as trumped-up charges meant to tarnish his reputation.
To ensure that Justice prevails Mr Kamutumwa appealed against the decision to the Labour Commissioner Chanda Kaziya who determined that suspension which was spearheaded by the then deputy Secretary General Hacholi Makondo was illegal as the meeting comprised of people who had no authority to belong to and make a decision on behalf of the Union.
In view, this resolution the aggrieved parties appealed the Labour Commissioner’s decision to the Industrial Relations Court.
In this matter, the first appellant to mater was the acting Union Secretary-General Hacholi Makondo while Union President Alick Chirwa, the Vice President Martin Situmbeko, National Organizing Secretary Victor Silavwe and Trustee Kelvin Phiri were 2nd 3rd 4th and 5th appellants while the first and second respondents were the attorney general and Mr Joe Kamutumwa.
They appealed against the Labour Commissioner’s decision to reverse the suspension of the Union’s General Secretary Joe Kamutumwa from his elected position since the appellant National Executive Council Officials were not eligible employees on the dates when the decision was made and that they had no legal power to make such a deception.
And in passing Judgment on this matter Judge Mwansa ruled that the Labour Commissioner properly exercised his authority and correctly and interpreted the law in this case.
This means Union President Alick Chirwa, the Vice President Martin Situmbeko, National Organizing Secretary Victor Silavwe and Trustee Kelvin Phiri who were allegedly drawing double salaries are no longer Union members as they are currently holding managerial positions.
This clarifies that Mr Kamutumwa who has been on suspension for 2 years awaiting the verdict remains the general secretary of the Agriculture Technical Professional Staff Union of Zambia and resume his duties.