|Nyarota wins case against ANZ|
|Wednesday, 25 April 2012 00:00|
Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe has been ordered to pay former editor of the Daily News Geoffrey Nyarota US$90 921 as damages for unlawful termination of employment. The publisher of Daily News and Daily News on Sunday is also supposed to pay US$1 440 in arbitration costs on behalf of Nyarota.
In 2009 ANZ allegedly entered an employment contract with Nyarota who was in the United States and paid for his relocation costs back to Zimbabwe in preparation for the re-launch of The Daily News.
He was promised a monthly salary of US$4 000 plus allowances to the tune of US$2 500 for a contract running from January 2010 to December 2010.
The contract was terminated after a few months of receiving the package and Nyarota instructed his lawyers Scanlen and Holderness to challenge the termination of the contract.
In August last year, an arbitrator found that although there was no written contract of employment between the parties, Nyarota had been employed by ANZ and that the termination of employment was unlawful.
Considering that reinstatement was no longer tenable, the same arbitrator on February 24 this year ordered ANZ to pay Nyarota US$90 921.
Nyarota’s lawyers recently filed an application to register the US$90 921 award at the High Court but ANZ opposed it on the basis that the arbitrator wrongly found the existence of an employment contract between the parties.
Justice Samuel Kudya referred the application to the opposed court roll now that ANZ had filed opposing papers.
In opposing the claim for damages by Nyarota, ANZ argued he was only a consultant and not an employee.
It was submitted that there was no written agreement for his employment and that he was not even given any title during the alleged period of employment.
Nyarota, according to ANZ, was not under any supervision and he did not report to anyone during the time in question.
ANZ said Nyarota did not devote all his time to the company and he actually chose where to operate from.
Nyarota’s lawyers argued that ANZ in 2003 started by relieving him of his duties as editor of Daily News before he relocated to the US with his family.
In 2008 ANZ engaged Nyarota into a discussion through the e-mail on the re-launch of the newspaper promising him a senior position.
The company also successfully negotiated to buy Nyarota’s website formerly known as The Zimbabwe Times for US$60 000.
Nyarota was later lured into working for ANZ on a US$4 000 cost of living allowance that later turned into a “salary”.
The company paid for Nyarota’s relocation costs to Zimbabwe in preparation for the re-launch of the paper. Nyarota said he did not get the company vehicle that he had been promised neither were there any offices in town.
There was no computer and internet services and ANZ refused to sign a written agreement with him in March 2010 and the labour dispute ensued.