The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Rahman Sues FC Platinum

JUST over a month after they seemed to have parted ways amicably relations between Premiership side FC Platinum and their former coach Rahman Gumbo have turned sour with the gaffer turning to the High Court to try and stop the miners from evicting him from the company's house in Zvishavane.

Gumbo was fired by FC Platinum on July 3 after just one season in charge with the former Highlanders mentor being blamed for Kugona kunenge kudada's poor run of form.

At the time of their decision to dismiss Gumbo, FC Platinum officials declined to issue a public statement, ostensibly because they were wanted to clear all the labour related issues pertaining to the contract they had with the coach.

But a row between the two parties exploded yesterday when the Warriors coach filed an urgent chamber application at the High Court in Harare in which he is seeking a provision order to interdict FC Platinum from repossessing the vehicle and evicting him from the house they had given him to use.

Gumbo also insisted his application that his dismissal by FC Platinum was unlawful.

The coach also noted that his application, filed through his lawyers, Hamunakwadi, Nyandoro and Nyambuya, was in response to the attempts by the club to repossess the property they had given him in his capacity as coach.

It also emerged from the court papers that FC Platinum had on Wednesday dismissed claims by the coach that they ought to have compensated him for damaged emanating from the "unlawful termination of contract that was due to run until May 2014".

"Applicant is a former employee of respondent who unlawfully terminated his contract on the 31st day of June 2011 and the contract had to run to the 31st day of May 2014.

"On the 20th day of July 2012 respondent through the agency of its human resources manager directed applicant's lawyer to serve applicant's proposal of damages arising from the unlawful termination at their head office of No. 12 Kenilworth road, Newlands, Harare and the same was accordingly done.

"On the 16th day of August 2012, respondent took applicant by surprise when they faxed a correspondence which clearly indicated that it does not owe applicant in damages but rather went on to make a counter claim against applicant.

"More importantly, applicant should vacate its accommodation premises at a certain date and applicant should hand over the aforesaid motor vehicle back to it which applicant was given by respondent for use when he assumed duty as the head coach of the football club.

"Respondent went on to issue threats to applicant's lawyer Mr. Nyandoro that they are going to seize the motor vehicle at any given opportune time and would also eject applicant out of accommodation premises at No 10. Impala Road, Abvalorem, Zvishavane.

"Applicant is convinced that respondent can carry out the aforesaid threats given respondent's arrogant manner in which he dealt with applicant's case of unlawful termination of his contract. Respondent has completely refused to engage applicant regarding his case and hence applicant had to go for conciliation," read part of the application.

On the same day that Gumbo's lawyers filed their papers in the High Court, they also made an application for conciliation at the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare in the capital.

"Take notice that an application is being made to the Labour officer concerning non-payment of damages to applicant by respondent arising out of the respondent's unlawful termination of applicant's contract".

In his application at the Ministry of Labour, Gumbo also questions the circumstances that led to his dismissal and contends that it should be declared a nullity "as it was not done in line with the spirit of the agreement entered into by the parties.

"The agreement under item number 16 clearly provides three ways by which a contract is terminated which are:

  • By giving 21 days written notice on the grounds of breach of contract
  • By mutual agreement/ consent with the other part
  • At the expiry of the contract.

The lawyers further argued that Gumbo had not been given the 21 days notice for the termination of his contract which they believe was a serious breach of the contract between tthe coach and the club.

They also attached a copy of the contract in the application they made to the ministry. In terms of law, applicant is entitled to damages arising out of unlawful termination and respondent has clearly been unforthcoming to negotiate the same with applicant.

"Applicant accordingly prays for an order compelling respondent to pay applicant the computed damages," read the application for conciliation.

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