BY CHARLES LAITON
Air Zimbabwe (AirZim) is set to have its bank account garnished after it lost the bid to block payment of $88 878 retrenchment benefits due to a former employee.
The national airline together with Air Zimbabwe Holdings (Pvt) Ltd had approached the High Court seeking confirmation of a provisional order after the court had barred one Samson Meki from garnishing the national airline’s account to recover his $88 878 benefits.
But in a judgment delivered on February 5, 2020, High Court judge Justice Erica Ndewere dismissed Air Zimbabwe’s bid, saying the airline had no basis to oppose the garnishing of its CBZ Bank account.
Justice Ndewere’s judgment came about after Air Zimbabwe (Pvt) Ltd, had also raised a preliminary point arguing it had not been involved in the dispute with Meki.
“So the first applicant (Air Zimbabwe (Pvt) Ltd) cannot claim to be uninvolved at this stage when it involved itself in the case earlier on. In addition, the default judgment in HC10786/14 was against both the first and second applicant (Air Zimbabwe Holdings) and the judgment clearly indicated that both were jointly and severally liable for the payment of the retrenchment package to the first respondent (Samson Meki),” Justice Ndewere said.
“The first applicant, therefore, has no legal basis to oppose the garnishing of the CBZ account. Accordingly, it is ordered that the application for confirmation of the provisional order issued on December 18, 2016 be and is, hereby, dismissed with costs on a legal practitioner and client scale.”
According to court papers, sometime in December 2009, AirZim Holdings issued Meki with a notice to retrench him and the parties later agreed on the terms and conditions of the retrenchment package on February 5, 2010.
Three years later, Meki took legal action after AirZim Holdings failed to pay him his dues and the matter was referred to arbitration, where he was awarded $88 878 in April 2013.
Meki later approached the High Court for the registration of the arbitral award as a court order and his application was granted unopposed.