Council to pay Mandizha $760k
Daniel Nemukuyu Senior Court Reporter
Harare City Council has been ordered to reinstate its finance director Mr Justice Mandizha to his position or pay him $760 000 in damages.
Labour Court judge Justice Lawrence Murasi confirmed the decision reached by labour officer Mr Faith Mupangami, who found that Mr Mandizha’s contract of employment had been terminated unlawfully.
This was after Mr Mupangami had taken the matter to the Labour Court seeking confirmation of his decision. Council and Mr Mandizha were listed as first and second respondents respectively in the application .
Top labour lawyer Mr Rodgers Matsikidze of Matsikidze & Mucheche law firm represented Mr Mandizha while Mr Charles Kwaramba of Mbidzo, Muchadehama and Makoni acted for the local authority. Justice Murasi did not find fault with the decision of the labour officer.
“The draft ruling of Mr Mupangami dated May 16, 2017 be and is hereby confirmed. “First respondent (council) is hereby ordered to reinstate second respondent’s (Mr Mandizha) without loss of salary and benefits with effect from the date of dismissal. Reinstatement should be complied with, effective from 30 days from the date of this order.
“If reinstatement is no longer possible, first respondent be and is hereby ordered to pay to second respondent for the unexpired term of the contract.
“The sums of money to be paid to second respondent shall be agreed upon by the parties, failure of which either party may approach the court for quantification,” reads the operative part of the judgment. Council was ordered to pay costs of the claim. On May 18, 2016, council wrote to Mr Mandizha terminating his contract of employment.
The following day, Mr Mandizha responded, seeking clarification of the reasons for dismissal. Mr Mandizha irked by the conduct of the employer, took the matter to a labour officer, who ruled in his favour.
Mr Mandizha was reportedly fired for failing to steer the city out of debt and not doing enough to reduce ballooning salary arrears. However, Mr Mandizha argued that his dismissal was unlawful on the basis that no proper assessment or evaluation of his contract of employment was ever done.
He said the compensation should be $760 000 and other benefits. Mr Mandizha joined Harare last year after a short stint with Cashflow Solutions (Pvt) Limited, immediately after his tenure with the United Nations, where he gained most of his working experience.
He worked with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) before landing the council post.