By Mary Taruvinga
HIGH COURT judge Webster Chinamhora has reinstated Lazarus Muchenje as NetOne Cellular (Private) Limited CEO.
This becomes the third time reinstatement by the court for Muchenje who has been involved in a bruising fight with his employer’s board for some time now.
Chinamhora also slapped the telecommunications giant with costs of suit including the board members who were the respondents in the case.
Muchenje rushed to court early this year after he was dismissed on three months’ notice.
He challenged the legality of the letter of termination served on him by the board.
In his ruling, Justice Webster Chinamhora said there was no basis to rely on common law over the matter.
“In light of the demonstrable rationale for the enactment of the Public Entities Corporate Governance Act, no basis is apparent for the reliance on the common law right of dismissal.”
“…As I have come to the conclusion that there is no inconsistency between the Labour Act and the Public Entities Corporate Governance Act within the contemplation of section 2A (3) of the Labour Act, the provisions of section 12(4) should not have been utilized to bring an end to Muchenje’s employment.
“In the result, I make the following order; that the letter of July 9, 2020 drafted by Winston Makamure written for and on behalf of NetOne, addressed to Muchenje be and is hereby declared null and void.”
Muchenje was last year granted an interim order suspending the letter of termination but NetOne again terminated his contract before Christmas last year.
Early this year, another High Court judge Etsher Muremba ruled that the court will not entertain his applications, also noting that only his employers could bring closure on the matter.
Muchenje was formerly dismissed on February 20 before the same letter of his dismissal was suspended by the High Court on an interim basis.
Cited as first to sixth respondents are Susan Mutangadura, Winstone Makamure, Dr M Rangarirai Mavhunga, Dr Beulla Chirume, Dr Douglas Mamvura and NetOne Cellular (Private) Limited.