Court Reserves Judgement In Innscor Labour Case Again

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By Bulawayo Correspondent

BULAWAYO Labour court judge Justice Moyo-Matshanga has for the second time reserved judgment in a case where Innscor African Bread Company Zimbabwe is being sued by its former employee for damages emanating from unlawful dismissal from work.

Paul Chimboya, who was the company’s Southern Region Sales and Marketing manager, was fired from the company on December 27, 2017 over allegations of sabotaging the firm following the circulation of a letter deemed offensive to the company. Following his dismissal, Chimboya took the company to the labour Court where he lost his case.

He then appealed to the Supreme Court which ruled in his favour and ordered his immediate reinstatement with full benefits and salary. After the Supreme Court ruling, Chimboya then reported for duty but the company’s management blocked him and instead opted to pay him.

Chimboya then hit the bread manufacturing company with US$308 000 damages in lieu of reinstatement and another US$91 000 as back pay.

In December 2021 Innscor nicodemusly deposited ZW$748 099, 28 into the respondent’s bank account despite the  fact that the two parties had  reached a deadlock over the matter.

The deadlock led to Chimboya again approach the Labour Court seeking quantification of damages.

The case was initially set to be heard on the 12th of November 2021 but it was postponed to November 26, 2021 where Justice Matshanga heard arguments from both the respondent and applicant‘s lawyers before reserving her judgment.

While the applicant through his lawyers Douglas Chikwangwani and Mwanaka James from Tapi and Attorneys were waiting for the reserved judgment, the labour court on 13 January 2021 wrote a letter to the applicant’s lawyers inviting them to another sitting on the 20th of January 2022 after the respondents filed additional papers on the 14th of January 2022.

Following the anomaly, Chimboya’s lawyers wrote to the labour court seeking clarifications on the new set down date.

“We refer to the above natter in which we act for the applicant Mr Paul Chimboya and we refer more specifically to the notice of set down received in the matter on the 13th of January 2022,”

“On the last hearing date of the matter which is 26 November 2021 at the Labour Court Bulawayo both parties presented their arguments and judgment was received on the basis that the respondent were to file a pay slip showing that applicant was paid his wages for the month of December 2017 . After the said pay slip was served on us we have been awaiting for the judgment,” reads part of Chimboya’s lawyers’ latter to the Bulawayo Deputy Regional Labour Court clerk one C. Kaneta.

During Thursday’s hearing, Chimboya’s lawyers protested the respondent’s filing of additional papers after the completion of the hearing.

“In light of the point of in limine respondents are attempting to file some papers after the hearing. It shows that the (respondents) are admitting that they did not have the papers. They are trying to amend it,” submitted James.

Justice Moyo clarified that the purpose of Thursday ‘s hearing was specifically to seek clarity on points in limine regarding the disputed issue of the applicant’s December 2017 pay slip. She said was not going to entertain any other additional papers filed after the hearing.

She then reserved her judgment.