The Herald (Harare)

29 December 2012

Zimbabwe: Teacher Reinstated

The Labour Court has ordered the Public Service Commission to reinstate a Cranborne High School teacher in Harare who had been fired for allegedly absenting himself from duty without official leave.

The Ministry of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture and the Public Service Commission discharged Ladistous Zunde from the service in terms of Section 63 (e) of the Public Service Regulations SI 1/2000 in 2008.

The section empowers the Commission or head of ministry to discharge from duty anyone that has been absent from duty continuously without official leave for 30 days.

The dismissal would be with effect from the date of detention, restriction, and conviction or as the case maybe.

Labour Court senior president Ms Gladys Mhuri noted it was not proven that Zunde was absent for a continuous period in excess of 30 days.

Said Ms Mhuri: "I also find that even if Zunde had fallen squarely under the ambit of Section 63 (e), he should have been given the opportunity to be heard before discharge."

She also noted that Zunde was around and there were days that he attended duty at the school.

Ms Mhuri said that authorities knew his residence, and he could have been served with a notice of hearing at his residence.

"I find as incredible the submission that the disciplinary hearing could not be held because Zunde was in South Africa," she said. "He was not in South Africa right through this period. The register shows that he attended school on some days."

Ms Mhuri was persuaded by Zunde's submission that the headmaster of Cranborne High School wanted to get rid of him without any valid ground.

She found that Zunde was unfairly discharged from the service.

To that end, Ms Mhuri allowed Zunde's appeal, ordered his reinstatement without loss of salary and benefits and that the respondents pay costs on a higher scale.

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