Robson Sharuko Senior Sports Editor—
LAZARUS Mhurushomana has battled a grim and fruitless 11-year battle for ZIFA to pay him his dues and hopes his old boss Cuthbert Dube can be influenced by recent events to appreciate the horror he has suffered for more than a decade. The ZIFA president won a key battle last week when Premier Service Medical Aid Society were ordered to pay him more than $3 million in salary arrears, which have been accruing since he was dismissed from his post as the chief executive of the organisation, in January last year.
An arbitrator, Dumisani Nyoni, ruled that the troubled medical aid society should reinstate Dube, who challenged his dismissal, claiming that he was still employed as the chief executive of PSMAS and its subsidiary Premier Service Medical Investments (Pvt) Ltd.
He filed two claims demanding his monthly salary of $138 000 from PSMAS and another for $92 000 per month from PSMI, for a combined $230 000 a month he was earning from the two organisations when he was forced out in January this year.
Nyoni ruled that Dube was unlawfully terminated and ordered his reinstatement, but PSMAS and PSMI, through their lawyer, James Chikobvu Muzangaza, filed an appeal to suspend the arbitrator’s decision, pending the determination of the dispute at the Labour Court.
Muzangaza argued the arbitrator erred in ordering that Dube be paid his salary arrears at the rate of $138 000 a month, as there was no basis for such an award and said Nyoni also erred in ruling that Dube’s contract of employment subsisted at the time of the arbitration proceedings.
Mhurushomana has been watching the drama, involving Dube’s battle for his salary and benefits and says the irony of the case was that the Harare business executive has been part of the ZIFA board, in eight of the 11 years, he has been battling in vain for his salary and benefits.
Dube has been in charge of the association, in five of those years.
Mhurushomana was retrenched from ZIFA in March 2004 and, since then, he has been battling unsuccessfully for his severance package, despite winning his case at arbitration and in the Labour Court.
“For 11 years, I have lived without a salary, despite dedicating all my life to serving Zimbabwean football until I was told, one day in 2004, that I had to leave ZIFA because some people either didn’t want me or wanted to have new faces at the organisation,” said Mhurushomana.
“For 11 years, no one has cared to spare a thought about me and my employer has been heartless to such an extent that I think they have been hoping that one day, I die, and this case disappears.
“Today, I see that a man who was one of my bosses, when I was thrown out of ZIFA, Cuthbert Dube, who didn’t feel sorry for me all the years when I have been fighting for what is due to me, so that I can also feed my family, now finds himself in a position that resembles mine.
“It’s sad and I’m not someone who wishes revenge on anyone and I just hope that as Cuthbert Dube experiences what I have gone through, in the past 11 years, he can understand that he should have done more, or done better, in ensuring that he helps me get my dues.
“I served this organisation for 42 years and I think it’s unfair that I should be treated as if I’m not a human being who should be protected by labour laws that protect all workers in this country.”
Dube was a ZIFA board member, in charge of the organisation’s finances, when Mhurushomana was kicked out of the association in 2004 and the Harare business executive remained on that ZIFA leadership until 2006 before bouncing back as president in 2010.
Mashingaidze was the chief executive in 2004, until 2006 and bounced back in a similar position in 2010.
Mhurushomana says he is owed $232 842, in outstanding salaries and benefits by ZIFA and that figure doesn’t include his exit package.
“Up to now, I’m still employed by ZIFA because they are supposed to be paying me, with the relationship ending after the settlement of my exit package, but they have not paid me even a cent since February 2004,” said Mhurushomana.
“My lawyers have been trying to organise meetings with ZIFA but they have been ignored by (ZIFA chief executive, Jonathan) Mashingaidze because he probably feels we don’t matter at all.
“I won my case at arbitration and at the Labour Court and the judgment was reg
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