CMED recommends MD sacking

HARARE - Central Mechanical Equipment Department (CMED) Private Limited disciplinary committee headed by retired judge Simbi Mubako yesterday recommended the sacking of former general manager Davison Mhaka for his alleged involvement in the fuel scandal that prejudiced the company of more than $2,7 million.

The disciplinary “authority”, yesterday suggested that Mhaka be dismissed on charges of gross incompetence and inefficiency as well as conduct inconsistent with the fulfilment of the express or implied conditions of his contract of employment.

 

Last week, Transport minister Joram Gumbo moved to reinstate Mhaka notwithstanding that the committee had indicated that he had charges to answer.

Yesterday Mubako said his committee, which also included labour lawyer Rodgers Matsikidze had unanimously decided that the only appropriate penalty in the case is “dismissal”.

He said in the face of misconduct by an employee the penalty to be imposed is the prerogative of the employer while the role of a tribunal such as “this disciplinary authority is to guide and recommend what penalty is available and appropriate”.

“On the other hand, we are mindful of the fact that the respondent has been found responsible for committing very serious misconduct acts inconsistent with his contract of employment, gross incompetence and inefficiency, occasioning his employers enormous financial prejudice of $2,7 million.

“Both breaches of the labour regulations are serious and go to the foundation of the contract of employment. In each case, the employer is entitled to impose the ultimate penalty of dismissal’’ said Mubako.

He further said that CMED could consider a range of penalties which also include reprimand, reduction of benefits demotion, suspension with or without benefits “as the employer sees fit depending on the levity or gravity of the misconduct in question”.

“In short, the penalty  must promote public accountability, not undermine it. Above all, the penalty to be imposed must fit misconduct.

“There is need to show that the loss of public assets is a serious transgression which cannot be satisfied by a mere slap on the wrist.

“Considering that a loss of more than $2,7 million of the taxpayers’ hard-earned money is involved, it would be sending a wrong signal to other officers entrusted with handling public monies and to the public if no adverse consequences were seen to follow”.

However, Mubako said they never received any communication from government, adding that they reached their decision without any influence.

“I would want to state that as the disciplinary authority, we have received no communication from the minister or any other minister neither did we expect to receive any communication,” Mubako said.

“We only work on the basis of the mandate we got from the board of directors and not from anybody else. We could not be possibly influenced by any other person. We are acting responsibly without fear or favour.

“The communication as we understand was directed to the board of directors, and what it has to say is something between the board of directors and the ministry and has nothing to do with us.”

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