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Zimbabwe president fires NetOne CEO.

Having lost the case in High Court to illegally terminate Lazarus Muchenje’s contract, the NetOne board has in a desperate attempt hatched a new plan to get rid of the youthful executive at all costs.

NetOne acting chairperson Susan Mutangadura has written to suspended CEO Lazarus Muchenje, informing him of withdrawal of the last letter that terminated his contract, which effectively restored him, but cautiously instructed him to wait for further direction.

“As you are aware on the 9th of July 2020 Netone Cellular private limited delivered a letter to you terminating your  fixed term of contract of employment on notice in terms of section 12 (4) of the Labour act {Chapter 28:01} .

“You will find an urgent  chamber application seeking to challenge termination of the contract in case NO.HC 3611/20 . The matter was argued before Justice Chinamora and judgement in the matter is still pending.

” Netone cellular Pvt limited  hereby withdraws the letter of July 9 2020 informing you of termination of your contract . By  extension that termination of your contract is hereby withdrawn.Please await further communication from Netone cellular private limited,” reads Mutangadura’s letter.

On that move alone, Susan Mutangadura again commits NetOne to pay all the legal costs incurred against the initial attempt to fire Muchenje.

NetOne acting Chairperson however immediately followed up with another letter of termination, this time citing presidential clearance to do so.

” 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.”

” They both note that their relationship with the institution (Netone) has irretrievably broken down and that it is in everyones best interest that the parties disengage.”

“This is a position that Netone Cellular has long held ,” reads the letter.

“His excellency has given endorsement for your removal from the office of Chief Executive Officer of Netone Cellular private limited.”

” In the circumstances by this letter and exercising its rights Netone hereby terminates your employment contract of three months notice.”

” Since Netone does not require your services it hereby waives the need for you to work .You will not be required to report for duty .The notice period will will be taken into account in calculating your terminal benefits.”

” As a consequence of this position , your employment with Netone Cellular private limited is effectively terminated with immediate effect.”

NetOne had lost the case in the high court, with an urgent court challenge offering Muchenje a reprieve through an interdict.

The same court was however yet to decide and issue its final verdict after reserving judgement for more than 4 months.

Seeing that the case was porous and highly likely to be lost, NetOne then dropped the charges, and immediately raised a different reason for termination of contract to Muchenje.

NetOne board was challenged in the last court appeal to offer reasonable ground to suspend a CEO, the same matter they lost against 2 senior managers.

This time however NetOne have quoted a clause that allows the president to authorise termination of contract to a sitting CEO.

Although the Acting Chairperson alleges that the President has endorsed the CEO’s termination, the communique is from the NetOne office and not the President’s Office, there was no further evidence to substantiate the claims.

The clause however only allows the president to do so after the board has issued reasonable grounds and offences and only must the president the ascend to the decision.

The matter now adds a new twist which will see an appeal in the high court, but this time with a different reason to terminate.


Reference is made to the above letter 





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