High Court judge Justice Muremba ruled that the country’s high court has no jurisdiction, as a court of first instance, in labor issues, in the case where NetOne CEO Lazarus Muchenje was challenging his termination on Notice by NetOne.
Muchenje who had challenged this third attempt to dismiss him in twelve months by the NetOne Acting Chairperson Susan Mutangadura was referred to the labour court by the High Court.
Justice Muremba found that based on the Nhari Judgement, issued in late 2020, labour issues should be dealt with by the labor court as court of first instance.
Justice Muremba did not deal with any of the substantive matters as she ruled that the High Court had no jurisdiction.
NetOne under Susan Mutangadura suspended Muchenje in February 2020, and Muchenje approached the High Court , challenging the unlawful process NetOne had followed, and he was granted an interim interdict by the High Court.
NetOne then withdrew all charges against Muchenje and reinstated him in July 2020, only to dismiss him for no cause the next day, just citing that they are terminating him on three months notice for no fault.
Muchenje challenged this termination in the High Court and was granted an interim order against NetOne.
In December Ms Mutangadura again reinstated Mr Muchenje and immediately terminated his contract on three months notice.
It appears that NetOne had learnt of the Nhari judgement which took jurisdiction away from the High Court ,as a court of first instance for labor issues, and in their quest to get Muchenje out of NetOne, had connived to bring him back and terminate again, knowing that the High Court, after the Nhari judgement, would send the matter to the labor court, where it can take years before being attended to.