NetOne ordered to refund pension fund ZW$552k paid to ex-employee

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By Staff Reporter

THE High Court has ordered NetOne Cellular Pvt Ltd to reimburse Communications and Allied Industries Pension Fund (CAIPF) ZW$552 561 it paid to the network provider’s ex-employee, Willie Walter Munakiri.

CAIPF approached the High Court arguing that NetOne was obligated to pay benefits to its former employees until they reach 65 years of age.

High Court judge, Justice Webster Chinamora upheld CAIPF’s application and ordered NetOne to pay the pension fund interest of 16% per annum calculated from March 16 2018.

The company is also expected to pay Munakiri his pension benefits until he attains the age of 65.

“Rule 47 of the Rules provides that; every pension to which the contributing member becomes entitled in terms of rule 43 shall be charged on and paid out of the general revenues and assets of the employer organization until he attains the age of 65, after which it shall be paid by the Fund.”

“Thus the rule obliges the defendant to pay Munakiri’s benefits till he turns 65 years of age. Having reached that conclusion, it follows that the defendant should recompense the plaintiff the monies that it had paid to Munakiri.”

The background is that Munakiri obtained a court order instructing that his pension benefits were to be paid out in terms of Rule 46 (1) and (2) of the CAIPF’s Pension Fund Rules.

However, the court order did not specify who would pay the pension benefits.

A writ was then issued to Munakiri, leading to the pension fund paying him ZW$300 820 from March 16, 2018 until May 4 2018.

Court heard CAIPF continued to pay ZW$4 064 Munakiri every month until June 2020 when the amount increased to ZW$8 938.

In 2019 CAIPF issued summons against NetOne demanding the money it paid Munakiri.