Court or­ders Zifa to pay Mlauzi $187k

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page -

THE Zim­babwe Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion will have to fork out $187 290 to pay for­mer Mighty War­riors coach, Shadreck Mlauzi af­ter the Labour Court con­firmed he is owed the dues.

An ini­tial rul­ing by the Labour Of­fi­cer stated that Mlauzi was in Zifa’s em­ploy de­spite de­nials by the foot­ball gov­ern­ing body who said they did not have a con­tract with the coach hence they did not owe him any amount for his time in charge of the women’s na­tional team.

Labour of­fi­cer Emil­ton Verukai ruled that Zifa owes Mlauzi a to­tal of $187 290 in a draft rul­ing in March and had taken the case to the Labour Court to have the rul­ing con­firmed. The amount com­prises un­paid salaries for the en­tire pe­riod of em­ploy­ment, camp­ing fees, for­eign matches al­lowances and qual­i­fi­ca­tion bonuses for ma­jor tour­na­ments.

In her rul­ing, made on 26 Oc­to­ber (Judge­ment num­ber LC/MT/164/18), Hon­ourable Jus­tice Mercy Moya-Mat­shanga granted the con­fir­ma­tion of the rul­ing with­out any amend­ments. Moya - Mat­shang a said de­spite Zifa deny­ing the ex­is­tence of an em­ploy­ment con­tract be­tween it and Mlauzi there was a clear empl oy e e - em­ployer re­la­tion­ship be­tween the two par­ties.

Part of the rul­ing reads: “In casu, it is clear that the 2nd re­spon­dent (Mlauzi) did not per­form his own tasks at his own terms for in­stance, he was told when to go to camp, which camp, the time to ar­rive at camp. He was un­der strict ins t ruc­tion of the 1st re­spon­dent

(Zifa). He was told the du­ra­tion of the camp­ing and what he was sup­posed to bring to camp.

“Even the let­ters re­quest­ing the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion to re­lease him were writ­ten by the 1st re­spon­dent, not by the 2nd re­spon­dent him­self so that he could at­tend camp. All this is clear from the let­ter of the 3rd of November 2016 writ­ten by the (then) act­ing CEO Mr Joseph Ma­mutse to the Head­mas­ter of Sikhulile Sec­ondary School in Bu­l­awayo. It is clear that Zifa ex­er­cised con­trol over the 2nd re­spon­dent and he was at Zifa’s beck and call and was there­fore an em­ployee. Had he been an in­de­pen­dent con­trac­tor he would be op­er­at­ing at his own terms rather than be­ing told what to do and when.”

Zifa had op­posed the grant­ing of the ap­pli­ca­tion ar­gu­ing they had no em­ploy­ment con­tract with Mlauzi and fur­ther al­leged the for­mer Mighty War­riors coach’s claim was base­less, adding he was only em­ployed on an ad hoc ba­sis and was a per­ma­nent em­ployee of Sikhulile Sec­ondary School.

Zifa com­mu­ni­ca­tions man­ager, Xolisani Gwe­sela re­ferred this re­porter to their lawyer, Itai Nduzdo for comment but he was not avail­able for comment.

Mlauzi said it was sad the mat­ter had to reach this stage as it could have been solved am­i­ca­bly with the foot­ball body with­out re­sort­ing to the courts.

“I hope it ends here and I be­gin a new chap­ter in my foot­ball ca­reer. It was sad af­ter all the ef­forts that I had put in with the Mighty War­riors and then be­ing told I’m not owed any­thing. I’m happy with the judge­ment and pray Zifa will com­ply and pay me my dues. Jus­tice has cer­tainly been served. I never wanted to ap­proach the courts but I had no choice,” he said.

Mlauzi was dis­missed as the women’s na­tional team in Jan­uary 2017 af­ter he had helped the side reach the 2016 Olympics fi­nals, the high­est in­ter­na­tional level that any Zim­babwe foot­ball na­tional team has ever reached.

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