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NetOne boss dismissal challenge hits brickwall

by Staff reporter
23 Aug 2021 at 06:51hrs | Views
HIGH Court judge, Justice Amy Tsanga has dismissed an application by former NetOne chief technical officer, Darlington Gutu, challenging his dismissal from the company.

Gutu lost his job early this after he was charged with criminal abuse of office alongside seven colleagues.

The judge rules that he should take his matter, which he thought deserved upper court's intervention, to the Labour Court because he raised labour related complaints.

Gutu had approached the High Court seeking a declaratur ,arguing that labour offices were not qualified to hear his arguments.

He said they are not privy to Labour laws nitty gritties.
Gutu only the Supreme and the High court can develop the common law as this is an exercise of serious jurisprudence which requires superior courts.

Tsanga ruled otherwise saying: "It cannot be said that the Labour Court, set up as a specialist court to hear labour matters, would not have the expertise to address the dispute. The order sought by the Applicant is itself clear that it is the premature termination of a contract of employment that is sought to be challenged.
"In other words the dispute lends itself to adjudication under the Labour Act…In light of the weight of case authority, there is therefore no need to belabour the matter of jurisdiction of this court… it is very clear that the dispute to be resolved is an employment dispute"  

Gutu and suspected accomplices are accused of having entered into an agreement with a Mauritanian firm, Bankai International (Pvt) Limited without board consent.

According to the state, this saw NetOne Cellular giving the firm a 20% airtime discount which was above the 11% discount the company was giving to other dealers.

The group is also accused of violating Postal and Telecommunications Regulations by by-passing the Home Location Centre.

In his application filed in June, insisted that the company had had no right to terminate his contract on notice.

He maintained that where a fixed term contract is terminated prematurely, then an employee is entitled to compensation for the unexpired period of that prematurely terminated contract.

"Thus the declaratur which the applicant seeks is that the respondent (Netone) had no right to terminate his contract of employment on notice. It is also to the effect that the purported termination of the applicant's employment…be declared null and void."

Source - newzimbabwe