SC 53-13 - CENTRAL AFRICA BATTERIES VS MHANGU

CENTRAL AFRICA BATTERIES

v

JOHN MHANGU

 

SUPREME COURT OF ZIMBABWE

MALABA DCJ, ZIYAMBI JA & CHEDA JA

HARARE, MARCH 15, 2011

D Ochieng, for the appellant

Respondent in person

 

MALABA DCJ: The unanimous view of the court is that the appeal is allowed.

The reasons are as follows.  It is common cause that the respondent was unlawfully suspended from employment on 5 January 1998.  On 9 September 2002 he took up employment elsewhere thus repudiating his contract of employment with the appellant.  It is common cause that during the period of suspension he would have been entitled to payment of Z$692 118.00.

The court a quo granted the respondent $21 141.58 calculated on the basis of US$208.76 per month being what was earned by the appellant’s employees in the grade in 2009 some 12 years after his unlawful suspension.  There was no basis for the formula adopted by the court.

 The appellant through its legal practitioner submitted that the amount payable to the respondent could be converted into another currency such as the United States dollars at the rate prevailing on 9 September 2002.  We believe that would meet the justice of the case.  This is therefore not a case where the question whether or not the amount owed by the employer to the employee has to be quantified in foreign currency or converted into foreign currency which would have to be determined by the Labour Court.  The issue has been resolved by the concession made by the respondent.

File: