Econet Wireless loses $250k labour case
Fidelis Munyoro Chief Court Reporter
Econet Wireless Private Limited has lost an appeal against the High Court decision to pay in excess of $250 000 in damages to a former manager over unfair dismissal.Regina Tendayi resigned from Econet Wireless two years ago citing constructive dismissal following a friction with the mobile company chief human resources manager Mr Innocent Magaya.
The resignation came after Tendayi was re-assigned from her position as Head, Talent and Organisation Development to Head, Talent Development.
She then sued the employer for constructive dismissal. Her claim succeeded and she was awarded damages by arbitrator Mr Joel Mambara, which she consequently registered in the High Court. Econet unsuccessfully opposed the registration of the arbitration before High Court judge Justice November Mtshiya. Econet Wireless then took the matter up to Supreme Court on appeal and again lost.
Justice Anne-Mary Gowora recently threw out the appeal with costs.
“The matter be and is hereby dismissed with costs,” said Justice Gowora.
In its grounds of appeal, Econet Wireless attacked the arbitrator for making “grossly erroneous fact findings repugnant with logic in finding that the first respondent had been unfairly dismissed”.
“In the instant case, there was no such dismissal,” argued Econet Wireless through its lawyer Advocate Taona Sibanda of Chinawa Law Chambers.
“There was an express premature abandonment of a contract by an employee without logical cause.”
Tendayi, argued Econet Wireless, repudiated her contract at a time when her services were required most.
Tendayi who was being represented by Adv Thabani Mpofu, instructed by Mr Collin Kuhuni of Kuhuni Attorneys, argued that the decision of the lower court in granting the application for registration of the award could not be faltered.
Econet Wireless has an appeal against the arbitration award pending at the Labour Court.
Mr Kuhuni confirmed yesterday the Econet Wireless was battling to stay a writ of execution of property after the Labour Court indicated that it has no jurisdiction to thwart the attachment of the property.
Econet, he said, opted for negotiations. The matter will be back in court on November 10.