THE High Court has struck off the roll of urgent cases an application by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) in which the labour movement sought an order barring companies from demanding COVID-19 vaccination certificates from their employees.
The ZCTU’s application came at a time when employers had served notices to their workers that they would not be allowed into company premises unless they produced valid vaccination certificates.
But High Court judge Justice Emilia Muchawa yesterday ruled that the matter was not urgent and “cannot jump the queue”.
The judge said the ZCTU application was based on assumptions, rendering it non-urgent.
She said ZCTU did not act swiftly when company notices were issued.
“The certificate of urgency on record is silent on the delay in acting from around July 22 when all but one of the respondents issued their staff notices. It does not mention any dates relating to when the cause of action was complete and the need to act, therefore, arose,” the judge said.
“The applicant alleged in the certificate of urgency that the respondents were conducting themselves as alleged, with a view to terminating the unvaccinated employees contracts unlawfully. This irreparable prejudice is merely speculative as nothing was alleged about what happened to employees after the deadlines came and passed before the lodging of the application,” she added.
The explanation for the delay should have appeared in the certificate of urgency and the founding affidavit.
“It did not. There is no evidence of the applicant having treated the matter urgently.”
ZCTU last month filed an urgent chamber application at the High Court seeking an order stopping employers from barring their unvaccinated employees from reporting for duty at the company premises.
The labour body also accused the government of “folding hands” while employees were being forced to take COVID-19 vaccines, arguing that the constitutional rights infringed were fundamental and the harm was irreparable.
Labour minister, Attorney-General, Zimnat Insurance Company, Zimbabwe National Road Administration, TelOne, Windmill, Seed Co Zimbabwe and Manicaland State University were cited as respondents.