The Labour Court yesterday granted Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ) leave of 10 working days to apply for removal of a bar placed on the company in the ongoing labour dispute between the company and one of its co-founders, Geoffrey Nyarota.
REPORT BY OWN CORRESPONDENT
Nyarota, the founding editor-in-chief of the company’s flagship publication, Daily News, took ANZ to the Labour Court citing unfair dismissal for alleged breach of contract in May 2010. The case was referred to arbitration where ANZ in defence, claimed that in fact Nyarota had no contract of employment in the first place.
The company had repatriated Nyarota from the United States in February 2010 to start work in preparation for the re-launch of Daily News. After a series of hearings the Arbitrator John Mawire passed judgement in favour of Nyarota and awarded him $92 000 in damages plus legal costs, after he produced the employment contract.Acting for ANZ, Harare lawyer Mordecai Mahlangu appealed against both the ruling and the quantum of damages awarded. The Labour Court set down July 12 2012 as the date for the hearing. Both ANZ and Mahlangu failed to appear for the hearing. They also failed to submit the required heads of argument in support of their appeal.
Advocate Thabani Moyo, instructed by Mahlangu, appeared at the Labour Court yesterday and said he had come to court on the basis of a misapprehension of the facts of the appeal case.
He applied to the presiding officer Labour Court President Justice G Musariri for postponement of the case, which was granted, saying he wanted to seek full briefing before applying for a lifting of the bar on ANZ.
Nyarota’s lawyer Doreen Gapare argued that ANZ was merely employing delaying tactics to frustrate her client. She said the company had used this strategy over the past two years.