By Marianne Nghidengwa
SHILIMELA Security Services owner, Banda Shilimela, has been accused of dismissing three female guards, because they are pregnant.
NamRights Senior Paralegal Officer, Ananias Aipinge, said that the three women, who are all in their second trimester, were dismissed verbally last week, without pay.
“Shilimela does not respect workers’ rights. We have had numerous complaints about how he dismisses his workers unfairly,” Aipinge said.
“Lately, he fired three female security guards, when he learnt that they are pregnant. He told them that he does not work with pregnant people; but this is not the first time, he is used to doing it.”
Aipinge added that the matter is due to go for arbitration at the Office of the Labour Commissioner.
“We are finalising the paperwork in this matter. He tells these people that he is well-connected and that nothing will happen to him. I learnt this week that he is yet to pay the women, but one thing is for sure, he fired them.”
An unfazed Shilimela told Confidente that he did not dismiss the women, but sent them on forced maternity leave. He claims they are eight months pregnant.
“They are not fired; I sent them home on forced leave, because they are all eight months pregnant. The thing is they wanted to continue working at this stage of their pregnancies, for reasons only known to them.
“Our clients won’t allow women that are heavily pregnant to hold firearms and guard properties,” Shilimela said.
There have been previous media reports of Shilimela allegedly exploiting his workers.
In most of the cases, his employees accused him of underpaying them, and deducting Social Security Commission fees, while they are not registered with the organisation.
Shilimela has also been repeatedly accused of refusing to grant employees leave, who have personal problems to attend to.
NamRights also exposed last year that Shilimela had verbally and unfairly dismissed 20 guards in January 2016, without pay.
The guards were reportedly dismissed without a hearing.
“We have received over 20 cases of unfair dismissals from security officers that worked for Shilimela. We have written letters to get their attention, so that we discuss the matter amicably, but to no avail. In fact one of the firm’s officials in Windhoek promised to come to our offices, but he never showed up. Another official in Ongwediva, stopped answering our calls,” NamRights officials said at the time.
Guards had told the human rights watchdog that they had been verbally dismissed, and that they were never granted a hearing.
They had also been promised their pay, after dismissal, which had never materialised.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015