Court orders ZBC to pay $1, 3 million to fired manager

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By Mary Taruvinga

THE Supreme Court has ordered the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) to pay its former general manager radio programming, Allan Chiweshe, over $1, 3 million in unpaid salaries and benefits.

Chiweshe was dismissed sometime in November 2014 on alleged misconduct.

A hearing was later conducted before he was reinstated to his position only to be fired on the same day.

Chiweshe challenged his dismissal through his lawyer, Letwin Sigauke.

In June last year, Labour Court judge Justice Lawrence Murasi gave the ZBC a 30-day ultimatum to pay Chiweshe his dues after upholding an arbitral award in his favour.

Court also ordered ZBC to reinstate him, but the state-owned broadcaster challenged the ruling arguing that they had a pending civil case with Chiweshe.

The Judge however trashed the challenge saying the pending case had nothing to do with Chiweshe’s case at the Labour court.

ZBC then petitioned the Supreme Court seeking to overturn the arbitral award but failed to prosecute its appeal. The appeal was dismissed on September 7, 2018.

Court ruled that the contract of employment is clear as to what he was entitled to receive.

The contract of employment shows that the employee was supposed to receive a basic salary of $1 500 per month plus allowances.

The calculations presented before the applicant showed that the respondent had not paid the employee full salaries as agreed in the contract of employment and this was considered by the applicant for the purposes of calculating terminal benefits.

Court also ruled the defence counsel did not cite any legal grounds upon which the contract should be discarded although he claimed that the contract was irregularly entered.

ZBC was also ordered to pay $39 to the Public Service Ministry starting 30 days from the date of the court order.

“Respondent be and hereby ordered to comply with the ruling with effect from thirty (30) days from the date of this Order.

“Respondent be and hereby ordered to pay costs in the sum of $39-80 to the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare with effect from thirty (30) days from the date of this Order.”