Sacked Zinara director to be reinstated

HARARE - An arbitrator has ordered the reinstatement of the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara) finance director Thomas Mutizhe, expelled from the organisation in 2014 for alleged gross incompetence and insubordination.

Through his lawyer Kudzai Gama from Gama and Partners, Mutizhe challenged the dismissal, leading to an order being granted in his favour.

“In the resultant, claimant (Mutizhe)’s dismissal is not supportable. I order that claimant be reinstated to his position without loss of salary and benefits from the date of dismissal. However, if the reinstatement is untenable, claimant should be paid damages in lieu of reinstatement,” arbitrator Musekiwa Kazembe ruled.

Mutizhe’s lawyer told the Daily News yesterday that they are soon going to approach the arbitrator for the quantification process.

Mutizhe had been fired following a list of allegations, which the arbitrator ruled cannot stand. Among other allegations, Mutizhe was accused of defamation, failure to submit a budget to the then acting chief executive officer (CEO) Moses Juma, gross incompetence and insubordination.

The other charges of misconduct and insubordination arose from claims that he was not being attentive during a Transport ministry meeting. However, the arbitrator noted that Mutizhe had asked to be excused from the meeting because of his personal problems and was forced to attend despite the circumstances and that the witnesses who gave evidence failed to corroborate the claims.

He was further accused of using disrespectful language, when he claimed that the actions of the chief executive officer were suspicious.

“To say that the conduct of the CEO was suspicious does entail that the claimant was rude and disrespectful to the CEO but a simple expression that the conduct of the CEO was indeed suspicious,” Kazembe said.

In response to the allegations, Mutizhe denied committing any acts of misconduct, further submitting that the allegations made against him did not constitute an offence.

“After a careful analysis of the parties’ arguments, I made the following findings: That the bulk of the allegations against claimant are centred on accusations against the claimant as being either incompetent or inefficient, however, the evidence submitted during the disciplinary hearing does not in any way point to incompetency or inefficiency,” Kazembe said.

Kazembe said that the hearing officer had misdirected himself when he found Mutizhe guilty of incompetence.

“Again, the hearing officer made a gross misdirection at law for finding claimant guilty of a misconduct he could not possibly be charged of,” he said.

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