7 Lumwana expatriates were lawfully fired, company tells court

Lumwana Mining Company Limited has told the Lusaka High Court that the seven expatriates who are claiming payment of over US$4.5 million benefits from it after their contracts were allegedly unlawfully terminated are not entitled to the reliefs being sought.

Lumwana Mining has further denied allegations that it unlawfully terminated employment contracts for its seven former employees and added that the seven were paid all their respective entitlements that were due to them after termination of their respective employment contracts.

Lumwana claimed that the termination of employment of the seven was lawfully done.

In this matter, seven former employees of Lumwana Mining have sued the mining company, claiming payment of US $4, 584,490.88 total salaries and benefits after their contracts were allegedly unlawfully terminated.

The plaintiffs: Mark Tink, Teresa Mentz, Frank Dudley, Jon Morgan, Werner Let Roux, Herman Prinsloo and Kevin Hanley are further seeking a declaration that the termination of their employment by the mining company was unlawful and unfair, among other reliefs.

But in the mining company’s defence filed in the Lusaka High Court, September 8, 2019, the mining company denied that the plaintiffs had suffered the alleged or any claims alleged at all.

It admitted that on various dates, the plaintiffs were engaged by it on fixed-term contracts as expatriate employees.

Lumwama stated that the plaintiffs were paid their dues for the days they worked up to their last working day.

It stated that it would show at trial that the plaintiffs’ respective contracts of employment were legally terminated before effusion of time and that it terminated the plaintiffs individual contracts of employment by invoking Clause 19.1.1 of the plaintiffs respective signed Expatriate General Terms and Conditions of Employment.

Lumwana stated that the plaintiffs were aware at all material times that the it terminated their respective contracts of employment owing to operational requirements in Lumwana in the year ending 2018 that resulted in the restructuring of its operations and localizing the plaintiffs’ roles.

It stated that localizing required offering the plaintiffs’ role being expatriates to Zambian citizens in accordance with its Succession Planning process and Nationalization plan by Zambian law.

It stated that the repatriation of the plaintiffs, together with their accompanying families, were lawfully done and were given enough time to prepare.

Lumwana further claimed that the termination of employment of the plaintiffs was lawfully done and all entitlements, which were due to them were paid.

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