TELECEL ZIMBABWE PRIVATE LIMITED
SUPREME COURT OF ZIMBABWE
MALABA DCJ, ZIYAMBI JA & HLATSHWAYO JA
HARARE, JUNE 3, 2013
C Kuhuni, for the appellant
F Mahere, for the respondent
ZIYAMBI JA: This is an appeal from the Labour Court. It concerns the law relating to the assessment of damages consequent upon the unlawful dismissal of an employee.
At the end of the hearing of the appeal the following order was issued:
1. The appeal is allowed with costs
2. The Judgment of the court a quo is set aside and substituted as follows:-
“a) the respondent shall make the following payments to the appellant:
(i) Back pay in the sum of US$12 883.00
(ii) Cash in lieu of leave in the sum of US$2 572.36
(iii)Damages in lieu of reinstatement amounting to US$9 600.00
(b) The sum of US$3000.00 shall be deducted from the total of the amounts set out above.
(c) Each party shall bear its own costs.”
The following are the court’s reasons for so ordering.
The respondent was employed by the appellant in the capacity of Procurement Manager on 1 July 2010. In terms of the contract of employment, the respondent was to complete a probationary period of three months ending September 2010. On 25 November 2010, the appellant advised the respondent of an extension of the probationary period. In January 2011, the respondent was advised that his permanent employment with the appellant had not been confirmed. He was dismissed on 30 January 2011.
The respondent was aggrieved by the dismissal and all efforts at conciliation having failed, the matter was referred to an arbitrator who found that the respondent was unfairly dismissed and ordered the appellant to pay damages in the sum of $40 000.00. The respondent appealed against this order, it being his contention that the quantification of damages due to him had been done by the arbitrator without hearing the parties. A consent order was issued by the Labour Court in terms of which the appellant was to reinstate the respondent to his former employment failing which the Labour Court was to quantify the damages.