ZSE, former CEO fight rages on

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Fired Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) chief executive officer Alban Chirume has filed a counter claim arguing he is entitled to a company vehicle his employers wants him to return.

BY CHARLES LAITON

The ZSE two weeks dragged Chirume to the High Court, seeking to compel him to return the organisation’s Mercedes Benz.
On September 22, 2017, the ZSE filed a court application through its board chairperson Caroline Sandura, urging the court to order Chirume to surrender the vehicle and other company properties, but Chirume hit back, arguing the ZSE should instead fulfil its contractual obligations.

“On or about September 28, 2016, the ZSE’s board resolved to sell to plaintiff (Chirume) a Mercedes Benz E300 on the following terms: That the purchase price would be based on 25% discount of the net book value as at September 30, 2016; that the effect date of agreement would be September 30, 2016; that plaintiff’s accrued leave days would be used to pay part or the whole of the purchase price; that defendant would get an allowance of $1 000 per month which could be used to offset any balance due on the purchase price,” Chirume said in summons filed on October 10.

He said it was also agreed that: “That plaintiff would pay all expenses for maintaining the vehicle pending payment of the full purchase price and that the plaintiff would insure the vehicle for the benefit of the employer pending payment of the full purchase price.”

Chirume further said he accepted the offer and a binding contract came into force, in terms of which he became entitled to transfer of the car on September 30, 2017 or whenever the purchase price was ascertained.

“Despite demand, defendant (ZSE) has still not given effect to its resolution and the agreement, although it transferred vehicles to its other employees to whom it made a similar offer in terms of the same resolution. Plaintiff, hereby, tenders the value of his accrued leave days against transfer of the motor vehicle to him,” he said.

In her founding affidavit last month, Sandura said she had been compelled to file the application after realising that Chirume was reluctant to return the vehicle, laptop probook 450, iPad and other business tools despite being asked to do so.

According to Sandura, Chirume was engaged by the ZSE as its chief executive officer and his contract of employment, which was terminated in June this year, provided him with possession and use of a motor vehicle and other company properties.

Sandura said at all material times during the duration of the contract, ownership of the said assets remained with the ZSE and at no point was the property transferred to Chirume, an assertion Chirume disputed in his summons.

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