Embattled boss gets court reprieve

CHARLES LAITON

RECENTLY suspended NetOne Cellular (Pvt) Ltd chief executive officer Lazarus Muchenje has been thrown a lifeline after the High Court ordered the parastatal and its board not to institute any disciplinary proceedings against him.

Justice Sylvia Chirawu-Mugomba’s ruling came after Muchenje had approached the court on an urgent basis seeking an order to nullify a special resolution which was reached by the parastatal’s board members to suspend him.

In his founding affidavit, Muchenje said the resolution to suspend him was reached on February 20, 2020, after some board members, namely Susan Mutangadura, Winston Makamure, Ranganai Mavhunga and Paradzai Chakona, convened an irregular meeting.

In her determination, however, Justice Chirawu-Mugomba said pending the confirmation of the provisional order, NetOne Cellular (Pvt) Ltd and its board members must not pursue disciplinary proceedings against the chief executive officer.

“The first, second, third, fourth and sixth (Susan Mutangadura, Winston Makamure, Ranganai Mavhunga and Paradzai Chakona and NetOne Cellular (Pvt) Ltd) respondents are interdicted from pursuing disciplinary proceedings against the applicant,” the judge said in her order granted on March 10, 2020.

It was Muchenje’s argument that on February 20, Mutangadura, Makamure, Mavhunga and Chakona unlawfully and irregularly convened a special meeting of the board of directors without notice. Also its agenda had not been sent to all the board members.

“In particular, the fifth respondent (Douglas Mamvura), who is a dully appointed director, was never notified of the purported board meeting of February 20, 2020, as well as the applicant (Lazarus Muchenje) and the acting chief finance officer, who are both members of the sixth respondent’s (NetOne Cellular) board,” Muchenje submitted in his founding affidavit.

Muchenje further said it was in th+at “purported board meeting” where Mutangadura, Makamure, Mavhunga and Chakona allegedly passed a special resolution to suspend him as the CEO and the acting chief finance manager of the parastatal with a view to convening a disciplinary hearing against him.

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