Its game on at NetOne as the drama continues unabated, like a soap opera, as fired CEO takes NetOne Chaiperson Susan Mutangudara on round two at High Court.
Court papers gleaned by TechnoMag show that Lazarus Muchenje has successfully filed an urgent High Court appeal challenging his firing from NetOne after being temporarily restored back as the company’s CEO and fired on the same date.
Muchenje will appear before High Court Judge tomorrow morning where the court will decide over the urgency of the application.
In his appeal through his lawyers, Muchenje argues that:
A few hours after the reinstatement, a letter purportedly terminating the Applicant’s employment on three months was delivered to the Applicant. Applicant obtained an interim relief from the High Court which suspended the effects of the said letter under Case Number HC 3611/20. This interim order has not been confirmed or discharged.
Using the same tactic, the Respondents have purportedly reinstated the Applicant and at the same time illegally terminated his employment contract on three months’ notice in terms of its letter dated the 21
st December 2020.
The Respondents have no right to terminate the contract in question on notice and neither can they be allowed to circumvent a lawful Court Order which remains extant.
However, NetOne acting chairperson Susan Mutangadura stated that they have withdrawn the initial charges pending High Court judgement against Muchenje, but went on to file fresh charges against the energetic executive.
According to the latest charges, Muchenje was fired by the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe HE Emmerson Mnangagwa after he allegedly given a green light to terminate Muchenje’s relationship with the state owned enterprise.
In the court exhibits, Mutangadura has however failed to insert that directive or recommendation from the president, president’s office or spokesman, except a letter from the ministry, signed in September, stating that the president had given a green light.
In their letter their of suspension, Mutangadura stated
The Ministry of ICT Postal and courier services and His excellency President of the Republic of Zimbabwe have expressed concern about the long drawn out dispute between you and Netone Cellular Private Limited.”
While this statement reads like a contempt of the court procedures or tempering with the independence of the judicial system, the NetOne letter continued:
” They both note that their relationship with the institution (Netone) has irretrievably broken down and that it is in everyone’s best interest that the parties disengage.”
“This is a position that Netone Cellular has long held ,” reads the letter.
Susan Mutangadura dropped the last High Court challenge while awaiting judgement pronouncement, and offered to pay the full costs of the appeal.
The costs, however, will be paid by NetOne, a move which has irritated many Zimbabweans as millions at NetOne have continuously been wasted in in useless cat and mouse battles that could have been solved by closing doors and fixing internal issues .