Daniel Nemukuyu Senior Court Reporter
THE High Court has ordered former Grain Marketing Board general manager Mr Albert Mandizha to surrender to the board two vehicles he was using at the time of employment – a Land Rover Discovery and a Toyota Hilux.
Mr Mandizha had his contract of employment with GMB terminated on November 30, 2014.
GMB extended his stay at the company up to the end of 2015 in a caretaker’s capacity and he continued using the vehicles.
In terms of his employment contract, he was entitled to purchase an all-terrain official vehicle in his possession at 60 percent of the vehicle’s market price.
However, GMB offered him the Land Rover Discovery but did not communicate on how he was going to pay for it.
He decided to keep both vehicles.
Last week, Justice Priscilla Chigumba ordered Mr Mandizha to immediately surrender the vehicles.
“The respondent (Mr Mandizha) be and is hereby ordered, within 24 hours of the grant of this order, to surrender possession of and to return to the applicant motor vehicles, namely a Toyota Hilux double cab registration number ACR 2708 and a Land Rover Discovery registration number ADJ 3520.
“In the event of the respondent failing to comply with paragraph 1 hereof, the Sheriff be and is hereby authorised to take such steps as may be necessary to recover the said vehicle from the respondent or any person in possession thereof on the authority of the respondent and return it to the applicant,” ruled Justice Chigumba.
She ordered Mr Mandizha to meet all the legal costs associated with the matter.
Mr Mandizha was allocated the two motor vehicles for use in the discharge of his duties.
Following the expiry of his contract of employment, the court heard that Mandizha requested to remain as the company’s general manager on a caretaker basis while the firm’s board was determining the way forward.
He was allowed to keep the motor vehicles until end of February last year.
He was offered an option to buy the Land Rover Discovery.
The court heard that his terminal benefits were later calculated and it was discovered that he was in the negative and the company demanded that he returns the cars.
GMB later asked him to state how and when he would pay for the vehicle but no response was forthcoming from Mr Mandizha.
That prompted GMB to approach the High Court.
Mr Mandizha argued that GMB had unlawfully terminated his contract of employment.
He said that he specifically made a request to continue using the motor vehicles pending the finalisation of his exit package.
He claimed the request was granted.
Mr Mandizha said it was clear that he was going to use his exit package to pay for the motor vehicles.
He said there was dispute over termination of his employment contract and he was yet to get his benefits.