A Sundry of Other Cases Decided in the Year 2020 – 2021

This section constitutes a quick overview of various cases that were decided in 2020 and 2021. Unlike other cases summaries, we have on this blog, this section is updated constantly as the cases are decided. The summaries are noticeably short. Readers are encouraged to peruse through the full judgements to fully appreciate the circumstances that led to those decisions.

Stuttafords Removals (Private) Limited v Nyamazunzu (SC 40-20): This was a case regarding condonation for late noting of an appeal. The court argued that all requirements for the granting of such condonation must be considered. These include the degree of non-compliance, explanation proffered, prospects of success on appeal and the convenience of the court among a host of other requirements. The case makes it clear that condonation is at the discretion of the court and the more alluring the reason put forward the more the court is likely to grant the condonation.

National Foods Limited v Tendai Bonde (SC 60-20): This case deals with internal pay equity. It argues that an employer can come up with an employee retention scheme at its discretion. An individual who does not fit into that scheme cannot argue that they have been discriminated against without proof.

Ncube v Fidelity Printers and Refineries (Private) Limited (SC 62-20): This was an application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court. The court dismissed the application because the applicant had no prospects of success on the main appeal.

Samuel Mkozho v Standard Chartered Bank Zimbabwe Limited (SC 73-20): Among other important lessons, the case emphasises that grounds of appeal must be outlined in a concise manner failure of which the grounds of appeal will be fatally defective. It also argues that using a standard of proof higher than the balance of probabilities is not acceptable when dealing with civil matters.

Mazarire v The Retrenchment Board & Anor (SC 105-20):  This case is authority to the fact that if a court takes into consideration facts that are outside what it is called for to decide by the parties, the resultant judgement will be fatally flawed. The same goes for a court that formulates its issues for determination. As in the first instance, a higher court can impugn the decision.

Tendai Bonde vs National Foods & Others (SC 11-21): In this case, the Supreme Court dismissed an application for leave to appeal to it on the basis that no question of law was raised on the grounds of appeal. The grounds of appeal should show that the Labour Court erred at a point of law and a mere repetition of facts would not amount to a question of law.

Honest Chipangura and Others v Kwekwe City Council and Anor (SC 27-21): In this case, employees were moved from Kwekwe Breweries to Kwekwe City Council. Following this movement, the employees were offered jobs different from what they held with Kwekwe Breweries. They argued that they had been transferred on less favour terms in contravention of section 16 of the Labour Act. Kwekwe City Council argued that there was no transfer of undertaking since it owned the Kwekwe Breweries. It was held that there was no transfer of undertaking as contemplated by the Labour Act and that the employees signed new contracts with the city council.

Glademan Mbira v Civil Service Commission (SC 32-21): Illustrates the dangers of not having a well-organised hearing. The court frowned upon conducting a disciplinary hearing in such an informal manner that evidence is left untested.

Martin Jongwe v National Foods Limited and Anor (SC 33-21): The court ordered costs at attorney-client scale against the appellant for filing a fatally defective appeal. The court argued that the failure to cite the correct date of the judgment appealed against in a notice of appeal contravenes the peremptory requirements of r 37 (1) (a) of the Rules and invalidates such a notice.

Tongai Machona v Old Mutual Limited (SC 34-21): Argues that not all procedural irregularities warrant the vitiation of proceedings. The court found that the failure to hold a pre-suspension meeting did not constitute a violation of the code.

Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (Pvt) Ltd v Irvine Mhlanga (SC 58-21): Argues that where a party is alleged to have waived their right to an arbitral award, the party relying on such waiver must adduce clear proof that the other party indeed intended to waive his rights. The intention must be clear and must not be left to speculation.

Living Waters Theological Seminary v Reverend Ngoni Chikwanha (SC 59-21): This case argues that Labour Officers do not have the appellate jurisdiction over matters already heard and determined by disciplinary committees and appeals committees. When a disciplinary committee or appeals committee determines a matter, it can no longer be conciliated as a decision will have been made by a competent authority whose decision can only be appealed against the Labour Court.

Patrick Manjovha v Delta Beverages (Private) Limited (SC 64-21): Reiterates the position that, an appeal should be against an order of the court and not against the reasons given by the court. The days within which one should note an appeal are calculated from the day the order is given and not when the reasons are produced by the court (see also Martin Jongwe v National Foods Limited and Anor SC 33-21). The appellant took 3 years to contest his dismissal and had his case dismissed for failure to comply with the prescription requirements.

Last Updated: 18 July 2021

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