Suspended Netone Cellular CEO Lazarus Muchenje disciplinary hearing failed to sail through last Friday after he busted all proceedings to be illegal since a court order barred his hearing earlier this month.
Muchenje was expected to appear before Retired Justice Moses Chinhengo to answer to several charges including incompetence, theft, habitual and substantial neglect of his duties as the CEO.
He was suspended as CEO of state owned mobile provider Netone on February 20 this year for alleged incompetence then approached the High Court seeking nullification of his suspension in which an interim relief order was granted to stop the hearing on March 11.
The suspended CEO argued that the meeting, which resolved to relieve him of his duties was not properly constituted and sought all resolutions, which the board adopted and cited Ms Susan Mutangadura, Mr Winston Makamure, Dr Ranganai Mavhunga, Mr Paradzai Chakona and Dr Douglas Mamvura as respondents.
On March 12, NetOne appealed against the order to interdict the hearing process at the Supreme Court and this became the basis for proceeding with the hearing.
“The interim order issued by the High Court on the 11th of March 2020 was served on us on the 12th March,” said NetOne lawyers C Kuhuni Attoney in response to Mr Muchenje who had advised his intention of not attending the hearing.
“We filed a notice of appeal on the 12th of March. From that date the High Court interdicting our client from pursuing disciplinary proceedings against our client was suspended pending the hearing of the appeal noted against the High Court order.”
“The intended hearing is not proper as alleged.” Mr Muchenje differed with NetOne’s interpretation.
Through his lawyers, Titan Law. Mr Muchenje argued that the interim order by High Court barring NetOne from pursuing the disciplinary hearing remained in force.
“The order in question is interlocutory in nature,” said Mr Muchenje’s lawyers.
“Accordingly leave to appeal ought to have been sought when you filed an appeal which is a legal nullity at law.
“In any event, it is highly improper for your client to proceed with the disciplinary proceedings when a superior forum is seized with the matter.
“An urgent chamber application has also been filed. . . which has bearing on these proceedings.”
Mr Muchenje also threatened to sue NetOne if the hearing proceeds.