BULAWAYO judge Justice Nicholas Ndou yesterday granted a former employee of the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) in Hwange
$15 000 in defamation damages after the company’s loss control officer caused his arrest on charges of stealing transformer oil.
Report by Richard Muponde Senior Court Reporter
Enock Saladi Fugara, through his lawyer Mazhar Petkar of James, Moyo, Majwabu & Nyoni Legal Practitioners, had approached the court seeking $15 000, arguing that the arrest tarnished his name and reputation.
He said the respondent Tafirenyika Bvunza had also labelled him a thief.
“I was extremely embarrassed and humiliated by my arrest and detention,” said Fugara in his founding affidavit.
“Hwange is a small town with a small community.
“I held and still hold a position of trust with my employer, where I am expected to properly look after and account for my employer’s property.
“I also suffered discomfort from the loss of freedom for two days I was in detention.
“This was caused by the defendant who abused his position as a loss control officer to cause my arrest and detention after using subterfuge to get me to the police station.”
Ndou awarded damages without amendments against Bvunza, who is no longer with ZPC after joining Murowa Diamond Mine.
Fugara said the problem started in November 2007 when he was temporarily moved to the external stores section where he worked up to December 27 before he went on leave and left one Joshua Hananda acting.
He said on his return in March 2008, he discovered the theft of 69 drums of transformer oil.
“There were some employees who were unhappy about my transfer to external stores.
“I also informed management about the poor security we had and that despite advising the security department to rectify these defects, Bvunza employed three loss control staff to protect the premises 24 hours, but still there were thefts.
“I advised the defendant to investigate the issue of the missing drums of diesel since he was the loss control officer,” Fugara said.
He said two days later, Bvunza came back and told him that he was the prime suspect, but after two days in police custody, he was released without charge.