Mangongo challenges ZC dismissal

HARARE - Former Zimbabwe U19 coach Steve Mangongo has challenged his dismissal by Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) last month with his lawyers insisting the move is “illegal”.

Mangongo has hired the services of former Zimbabwe Professional Cricketers Association (ZPCA) chief executive Eliah Zvimba to represent him in the labour dispute.

Zvimba, who now heads the newly-established Sports and Recreation National Workers Union (SRNWU), yesterday wrote to the ministry of Labour and Social Services highlighting ZC’s failure to adhere to the Labour Act.

“This is an application of unfair dismissal perpetrated to our member by the respondent through acts which are inconsistence with the Labour Act Chapter 28:01 as read with the below quoted sections and subsections,” wrote Zvimba.

“The background of the case is as follows; the applicant was an employee of ZC for the past 28 years, he was employed in various capacities from being a development coach, provincial coach, first class cricket coach, age groups coach, assistant national coach and the right to the apex as the national team coach.

“The applicant’s dismissal was effected when he was employed as national Under 18 and 19 head coach. The applicant was dismissed without the use of any model code.

“The applicant was told to ‘resign or get fired’ if he failed to take heed of the order by the board. The applicant’s dismissal was communicated to him through a board resolution of April 1, 2018.

“The applicant was dismissed through an email sent to his subordinate and was told through the word of mouth.

“On March 22, 2017, the employer requested to vary the applicant’s salary and that request was not accepted but the respondent continued to effect a 20 percent salary cut without the consent of the applicant. The applicant wrote disputing such variation but the employer continued deductions.”

Zvimba alleges that efforts to engage ZC before resorting to a court challenge hit a brick wall.

“We tried to engage the respondent and through their lawyers, turned down the offer and alleged that the applicant’s contract of employment expired on April 28, 2018 and he ‘could not possibly have been dismissed when his contract had expired by effluxtion of time’ I quote.

“The respondent even took an undertaking to guarantee a bank loan for the applicant on March 2, 2018. An indication that the contracts still subsists,” Zvimba wrote.

“Generally, unfair dismissal implies a failure to meet an objective standard, and includes arbitrary, capricious or inconsistent conduct, regardless of whether it is intentional or negligent.

“With regard to substantive fairness and principle of natural justice, any person has the right to be heard (audi patem rule).

“By denying the applicant that opportunity, it is a serious violation of his rights as enshrined in the labour act.

“With regard to procedural fairness, the employer must follow its own procedures, through its own code or if not available, through the national code and discipline its employee accordingly.”

Former national team coach Heath Streak, batting coach Lance Klusener and fitness trainer Sean Bell have also engaged their lawyer after they were also sacked following Zimbabwe’s failure to qualify for the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup.

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