Zifa have approached the court in bid to safeguard their foreign currency from 16 former employees who have attached one of the football association’s bank accounts over a $195 818 debt.
BY CHARLES LAITON
The country’s supreme football body argues that the employees cannot seek to be paid in foreign currency against the court order which was granted in local currency.
Zifa filed the court application through president Felton Kamambo and the matter is yet to be set down for hearing.
According to the court papers, the 16 former Zifa employees, who were dismissed in 2017, won an arbitral award after their employment contracts were terminated by the association in 2016.
In their application, the ex-workers said they had to approach the court after Zifa neglected to pay the amount that they were awarded.
They also said they later successfully registered the arbitral award, which has now formed the basis of the current application by Kamambo.
“Pursuant to the court order, respondents obtained a writ of execution. The writ of execution is granting authority to 17 respondents (including the sheriff) to attach into execution property worth US$195 818 to satisfy the judgment debt … the respondents proceeded to attach applicant’s (Zifa) foreign currency account held with Ecobank,” Kamambo said in his founding affidavit.
“Applicant has approached this court seeking a declaratory order to the effect that the writ of execution issued in favour of the respondents should be set aside in that it introduces a currency that is not consistent with the court order. Further, the subsequent attachment of applicant’s foreign currency account is null and void. The applicant should be ordered to satisfy the judgment debt in local currency.”
Kamambo further said the writ of execution was issued erroneously in that it sought to purport to be a court order on its own by introducing the payment of the judgment debt in foreign currency, as opposed to the judgment debt as per the court order.
“It is further common cause that the obligation to pay the judgment debt does not relate to a foreign obligation or from a foreign debt. The cause of action formulating the judgment debt remains a local obligation,” he said.
The 16 employees also accused Zifa of unfair labour practices following the association’s dissolution on June 4, 2016 and creation of another entity called the National Football Association of Zimbabwe, which was later disbanded.