The Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) (Pvt) Limited yesterday successfully challenged the attachment of its property to offset a $34 000 debt which is owed to the Zimbabwe Football Association’s former employees.
BY CHARLES LAITON
Zifa Pvt Ltd was on the verge of losing its property following the obtainment of a writ of execution by Harriet Samukange (former personal assistant to association’s chief executive officer), Tafirenyika Chitsungo (former accounts officer), Christopher Emmanuel (former admin officer) and Munyaradzi Siwatsi (former finance and administration manager).
The four won a labour dispute after taking Zifa to court demanding their dues, but in a surprise turn of events, obtained a writ of execution against Zifa Pvt Ltd’s property.
Zifa Pvt Ltd’s lawyer, Advocate Fadzai Mahere, yesterday submitted before High Court judge Justice Davison Foroma that there was no connection between Zifa Pvt Ltd and Zifa, and as such, her client’s property could not be attached to settle a debt owed by the association.
After submissions were made, the employees failed to take the matter further and were left with no option, but to withdraw the case against Zifa Pvt Ltd.
The employees had filed a court application for the upliftment of Zifa Pvt Ltd’s corporate veil, arguing they had not been paid their salaries and entitlements, for which they had secured a court order for the attachment of the property.
In the application, the employees said they went on to attach property belonging to Zifa Pvt Ltd with the impression that it also belonged to their former employer.
In an affidavit, Abdullah Ismail Kassim, who is Zifa Pvt Ltd’s director, told the court his organisation never had any relationship with the four former employees.
Kassim denied the averments that his organisation was the alter ego of the football association.
“The applicants were never employed by the second respondent (Zifa (Private) Limited). Accordingly, there is no basis upon which the second respondent can be liable for their entitlements arising from a contractual relationship they had with a separate and distinct entity,” Kassim said.
He further said the mere fact that the association was using a building owned by Zifa Pvt Ltd did not hold his organisation liable to the debts owed by the former.