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NetOne boss reinstated, fired again

NetOne yesterday reinstated and then immediately dismissed its former chief executive officer, Lazarus Muchenje, this time on three months notice.

Lazarus Muchenje
Lazarus Muchenje

Muchenje was dismissed from NetOne on 9 July, but then made an urgent chamber application at the High Court challenging his dismissal and an interim order was granted in his favour suspending the letter of termination.

In dismissing Muchenje, NetOne served him with a letter advising him of termination of his contract.

Muchenje yesterday received a letter of withdrawal of the July termination, signed by the acting chairperson Susan Mutangadura, going beyond the suspension of the termination ordered by the court.

“As you are aware, on 9 July 2020, NetOne Cellular (Pvt) limited delivered a letter to you terminating your fixed terms contract of employment on notice in terms of section 12(4) of the Labour Act.

“You then filed an urgent chamber application seeking to challenge the termination of the contract in case No HC 3611/20. The matter was argued before Justice Chinamhora and a judgement in the matter is still pending.

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“NetOne Cellular(PVT) limited hereby withdraws the letter of 9 July 2020 informing you of the termination of your contract. By extension that termination of your contract is hereby withdrawn,” reads the letter.

But Muchenje had no time to celebrate. A second letter arrived.

The letter was again signed by Mutangadura and advising Muchenje of his removal from the position of chief executive officer of NetOne.

“The Ministry of ICT Postal and Courier Services and his Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe have expressed concern about the long drawn out dispute between you and NetOne Cellular Pvt Limited.

“They both note that your relationship with the institution (NetOne Cellular Private Limited) has irretrievably broken down and that it is in everyone’s best interests that the parties disengage,” reads the letter.

It further stated that the President has given his endorsement for Muchenje’s removal from the office of chief executive officer of NetOne.

It further stated that Muchenje’s employment was terminated with immediate effect.

“In the circumstances by this letter and exercising its rights, NetOne Cellular Private Limited hereby terminates your employment contract on three months’ notice.

“Since NetOne Cellular Private Limited does not require your services it hereby waives the need for you to work. You will not be required to report for duty. The notice period will be taken into account in calculating your terminal benefits,” reads the letter. The Herald