THE High Court’s Labour Division, Shinyanga District Registry, has confirmed the dismissal from employment of three employees of the Tanzania Electric Supply Limited (Tanesco), who were terminated from service for lack of form four certificates.
Judge Gerson Mdemu ruled against the three Tanesco officials, Alex Kazungu, Mukoi Fredrick and Martin Simon, the applicants, after dismissing their application for revision against a decision of the Commission for Mediation and Arbitration (CMA).
During hearing of the application, the applicants had contended that the arbitrator erred in law and facts by ruling that the Applicants falls under the Public Servants and therefore they are bound by the Public Service Act which requires exhaustion of internal remedies before filing the matter to CMA.
The central issue for determination of the application was whether employees of Tanesco are public servants within the meaning of the Public Service Act.
Therefore, the judge had to determine whether the applicants are public servants and the CMA was a forum of first instance to decide their labour dispute. Referring to the provisions of section 3 of the Public Service Act, the Judge defined a public servant to mean a person holding or acting in a public service office; paid public office in the United Republic charged with the formulation of Government policy and delivery of public services.
He was, therefore, quick to point out that Tanesco has not been excluded in the public service office under section 3(a) (i) through (v) of the Public Service Act and was also clear from the definition that Tanesco is charged with delivery of public service.
“The fact that it is a corporate sole in itself cannot make this Independent Department of Government deregulated by the Public Service Act. Given the above stance, it is obvious that the Applicants herein were public servants governed by the Public Service Act,” the judge said.
On whether the CMA was a forum of first instance in adjudication of applicants’ labour dispute, Judge Mdemu referred to section 32A of the Public Service Act, which provides that public servants shall, prior to seeking remedies provided for in labour laws, exhaust all remedies as provided for under the Act.
He noted, however, as per the record that soon upon termination, the applicants rushed straight to the CMA.