DAEWOO EMPLOYEE DISCHARGED IN GRATUITY CASE

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By Andrew Mukoma

THE Livingstone Magistrate Court has discharged a Korean employed by DAEWOO Engineering and Construction, the company constructing the multimillion Kazungula Bridge Project.

This was in a matter in which Project Manager Sung Hwan Choi was charged with the offence of failure to comply with directives from the Labour Commissioner contrary to the Employment Act.

In this matter, Choi was accused of having willfully failed to implement the payment of 25 percent gratuity to workers employed by Daewoo E&C at the Kazungula Bridge.

Particulars of the offence are that Choi on dates unknown but between May 9, and June 14 this year in Kazungula, being a project manager at Daewoo E&C and being an employer of workers constructing the Kazungula bridge project, failed to implement 25 per cent gratuity clause as directed by the Labour Commissioner.

And when the matter came for plea before Chief Resident Magistrate Willie Sinyangwe, Choi’s lawyer Major (retired) Isaac Masonga of KBF and Partners told court that his client should not take plea because he was wrongly before court.Major Masonga said his client was not the director of the company but merely an employee.

“I sympathise with the state for not appreciating the law on which my client has been brought before this court, their argument that the procedure has not been complied with are farfetched,” he said.

Major Masonga said his client is not charged under the criminal procedure code (CPC) but under the Employment Act.

And in his ruling, Magistrate Sinyangwe observed that the submissions made by the defence were valid stating that the state wrongly brought the accused to court.

“The accused here is just an employee of Daewoo E&C, he is not a director or a shareholder and I do not see why he should bear the company’s roles,” he said.

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