ZBC goes after its former employees

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Harare – The High Court will on Tuesday presided over a case where Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) is suing its former chief executive officer, Happison Muchechetere, former finance general manager Elliot Kasu, former radio head Allan Chiweshe, Ralph Nyambudzi and former Chairperson of the Board of Directors Cuthbert Dube for allegedly enriching themselves using company funds.

The matter that was before High Court Judge Justice Nicholas Mathonsi accused the former employees of recklessness and exposing the company to maladministration practices.

Papers filed by Scanlen and Holderness alleged that Dube and ex-board chairperson of the Board of Directors of ZBC  and the other top managers took a loan from  a local bank  US$618 000.00 for the purchase of executive vehicles misrepresenting that such a loan application had been approved by the board.

“As if that was not enough the defendants (ex-bosses) in connivance with each other and through the purported approval of the first defendant (ZBC board) unlawfully on the 5th of May 2010 approved a housing loan scheme agreement between the plaintiff and the Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe.

These loans were unlawfully guaranteed in the name of the plaintiff without approval of the Board of Directors.

The Second to Fifth Defendants benefited from the scheme to the value of US$300 000.00 which amount represents the financial prejudice to the 1st Plaintiff,” the court papers read.

The four allegedly  in connivance with  Dube, despite the fact that they had received loans for the purchase of their personal houses they continued to unlawfully access housing allowances thereby double dipping causing ZBC to suffer prejudice in the sum of US$441 400.00.

Muchechetere left ZBC in 2014 after his mega salary was exposed while junior workers at the company were wallowing in poverty.

It is alleged that The ZBC’s Board of Directors approved a salary increment for Muchechetere at the rate of 10% with effect from 1 January 2010.

Dube and Muchechetere despite the clear Board of Directors resolution, allegedly collusively, unlawfully and with the intention to prejudice or defraud the Plaintiff increased the salary by 93.869%.

“As a direct consequence or result of the unlawful conduct by the 1st and 2nd defendant, the Plaintiff suffered prejudice and the 2nd Plaintiff assumes liability for the same prejudice in the amount of US$89 620.60. The amount is due and owing by the 1st and 2nd Defendant,” read the papers.

ZBC in the court papers alleged that the ex-bosses prejudiced also the tax collector after they allegedly under declared their tax obligations.

“Between 2009 and 2013 the defendants recklessly and negligently failed to remit PAYE (pay as you earn) to ZIMRA as required by the Income Tax Act Chapter 23:06. Such obligations in relation to PAYE were accumulating since 2009 and amounted to US$17 147 035.00 including penalties and interests. In this regard the 1st Plaintiff stands to suffer financial prejudice in the sum of US$ 17 147 035.00,” read the papers.