Mapeza takes Zifa to court, demands $400 000
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Mapeza is serving suspension from the Warriors team following a Zifa decision in February to bar all individuals fingered in the Asiagate report from the national teams until they have been cleared by the Justice Ebrahim committee.
The former Monomotapa coach has a three-year contract with Zifa which effectively began on April 1 last year.
Zifa this week, however, appointed Rahman Gumbo to take charge of the Warriors for the 2012 African Cup of Nations and the 2014 World Cup qualifying campaigns.
That move appears to have put paid to Mapeza's future with the Warriors and the coach immediately demanded his dues from Zifa, a day after the soccer mother body publicly confirmed having given Gumbo a longer mandate to take charge of the senior team.
Through his lawyers Kantor and Immerman, Mapeza has dragged Zifa to the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, citing a breach of the Labour Act in the manner in which the association have handled his contract.
"We act on behalf of Mr Norman Mapeza (our client/complainant) who has instructed us to file this complaint in accordance with the provisions of Section 93 of the Labour Act (Chapter 28:01) against his employer Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa/the respondent") the details of which appear hereunder.
The complainant as employee entered into an employment contract with the respondents as a the employer for a fixed period of three years renewable upon the satisfactory performance by the employee
The complainant was entitled to a contract fee of US$30 000 per year for the duration of the contract which brought a total of US$90 000 for the three (3) years
The complainant was entitled to a net salary of US$5 000 per month excluding allowances, bonuses and appearance fees
The complainant was entitled to a company vehicle from the respondent
The complainant was entitled to receive the following allowances and benefits -- medical aid cover, tuition fees for his children, housing allowance, air travel for monitoring the level of performance of players based in Europe, the USA, Asia and around Africa," read part of the letter.
Mapeza, the lawyers also said, contends that Zifa have committed unfair labour practices in that they have failed "and or neglected to pay" him his salary and benefits in terms of the contract between the parties.
The coach also felt that by being placed on suspension for over five months, Zifa had effectively dismissed him.
"Respondent has with effect from 31st July 2012 engaged another person as head coach for the senior men national team thereby rendering complainant redundant.
"Respondent's conduct has made the continuation of a normal employer/employee relationship intolerable and impossible".
The lawyers also gave a breakdown of the money that Mapeza is claiming from Zifa.
"The respondent has failed and or neglected to pay the complainant the contract fees of US$30 000 per year in terms of the contract of employment.
"In this respect the complainant is owed US$60 000 for 2011 and 2012. The respondent has further failed to pay the allowances due to complainant amounting to US$25 800.
"Since the signing of the contract, complainant has not been allocated a motor vehicle in terms of the contract of employment and has been using his own vehicle at his own expenses. Such expenses amount to US$11 003 calculated at the AA rate for luxury cars," the lawyers said.
Mapeza also argued that by appointing Gumbo on a substantive basis, Zifa had "constructively" dismissed him.
"The current position is that respondent has with effect from 31st July 2012 appointed another person in the position hitherto held by complainant notwithstanding the fact that complainant's contract runs up to 1st April 2014.
"The complainant contends that is this a proper case of punitive damages to be awarded against the respondent.
"This is because despite numerous complaints by the complainant and despite the clear position of the law, the respondent has continued with its unlawful conduct and has caused national humiliation to the complainant.
"The respondent is in fragrant breach of the terms of contract of employment extant between the parties.
"In light of the foregoing, the complainant is asking the following relief:
Payment of US$133 047.01 representing arrears due by respondent to complainant as at 31st July 2012 and in respect of the unexpired portion of the contract claimant claims US$181 753.87 and punitive damages in the sum of US$100 000.
Reimbursement of legal costs incurred or to be incurred in this matter".
Zifa chief executive, Jonathan Mashingaidze declined to comment on the matter indicating that he had refereed it to their legal department headed by Harare lawyer Ralph Maganga whom he had tasked to urgently deal with the matter.
The Zifa board is expected to meet this afternoon to chart the roadmap for the Warriors' Nations Cup and World Cup campaigns and the litigation from Mapeza is highly likely to come up for discussion.
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