14 December 2018

Zimbabwe: Suspended Zbc Boss Contests $1m Suit

Suspended ZBC head of News and Current Affairs Tazzen Mandizvidza, who is being sued for $1 million by his employer, wants the public broadcaster to furnish him with further particulars of the suit, saying allegations against him were "vague and embarrassing".

ZBC recently slapped the journalist with the suit over financial irregularities that plunged it into massive losses.

Mandizvidza was sued a few days before the company suspended him from work.

The recent suspension became the second one in the past four years, related to the same allegations.

In 2014 the national broadcaster suspended Mandizvidza, together with other bosses, but later decided to conditionally rehire him.

ZBC claims the debt was never cancelled and that the court should now issue an order compelling him to pay $1 083 362,09 with interest.

The employer is also seeking an order for costs against Mandizvidza.

The journalist this week filed an application to compel ZBC to furnish him with further particulars of the claim to enable him to meaningfully respond.

This followed "resistance" by ZBC to supply him with the required information.

Mandizvidza stated in the application that ZBC lawyers were duly served with his initial request for further particulars but did not cooperate.

He described the audit report relied upon by the employer in suing him was "mysterious".

"A cursory perusal of the summons will show that the cause of action is solely based on the findings of a mysterious 'audit report' concluded more than five years ago, the exact date authored or contents of the said report are unknown to me.

"The authenticity of this report or its contents is unknown to me. The allegations are vague and embarrassing and such that I have been placed in a position where I cannot plead to the summons," read Mandizvidza's founding affidavit.

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