In a Twist of events, the High Court has set a new precedence over NetOne wars, after having ruled in favour of fired NetOne Executive, turning down the decision to terminate his contract stating that it was instigated by personal differences with the board, insisting the facts at hand were not in dispute.
The then NetOne Acting Chief Executive Officer Mr Nkosinathi Ncube had reversed the contract renewal for Human Resource Executive Mr Kudakwashe Nyashanu, who had been given a new 3-year lease by Lazarus Muchenje.
In his letter of termination of the contract to Kudakwashe Nyashanu, Mr Nkosinathi Ncube was cited to be have been under duress and order of the past board, to reverse the appointment made by Lazarus Muchenje. The letter was signed under the "order of the board" and it read;
"We refer to the letter addressed to you by the chief officer dated 24 July 2018 in which the Chief Executive Officer Purported to renew your contract with effect from 1 October 2018. We wish to inform you that the decision taken by the CEO is invalid as the CEO did not consult the board ….
"You would be aware that when the C.E.O. purported to renew some contracts of certain employees he also purported to terminate some comets for certain employees. Those actions were null and void. The CEO's letter to you of 24 July 2018 is, therefore, withdrawn. The board shall immediately look into the issue regarding contract extensions/renewals, guided by the relevant policies and procedures and staff shall be informed of the decisions taken. Should you want clarification regarding this issue.
Kudakwashe However appealed against the decision stating the appointment was legal and binding as appointing officer Lazarus Muchenje had legal powers to make such an appointment.
The applicant made this application stating that he had a clear existing right arising from the renewal of his contract by letter of the respondent dated 24 July 2018. The respondent cannot lawfully resile from that binding contract.
Apart from that, as an incorporation, the respondent is governed by its Articles of Association which delegate the Board's powers to the Chief Executive Officer. To that extent, Muchenje was within his mandate to conclude a binding contract on behalf of the respondent. As the board delegates issues of recruitment in terms of its Board Charter to the CEO and without reference to anybody, there is no requirement for consultation with the board.
In their argument. Kudakwashe's lawyers argued that when he was initially appointed to the post by the then CEO Reward Kangai, there was no need for the approval of the board and the same precedence had to be set, since the CEO had such jurisdictional power.
There is nowhere in the contract where it is endorsed that Kangai did so by the Order of the Board, as the new Acting Chief Executive Officer Nkosinathi Ncube so dramatically sought to do with the Board Secretary as they reversed the applicant's appointment. It is safe then to draw an analogy between the two scenarios and conclude that even the latest appointment sought to be reversed was the function of the Chief Executive Officer.
In his ruling, the judge made a decision in Mr Nyashanu's favour which really set a precedence on the NetOne's wars which are far from over.