The High Court has thrown out a last ditch attempt by former NMBZ Holdings group CEO Mr James Mushore for urgent payment for his ill-fated stint as City of Harare town clerk, while also ruling that his ouster was procedural. Mr Mushore becomes Harare’s shortest-serving town clerk after Justice Joseph Mafusire affirmed Local Government, Public works and National Housing Minister Saviour Kasukuwere’s decision to rescind the appointment on procedural grounds.
Harare mayor Councilor Bernard Manyenyeni appointed Mr Mushore town clerk on Mach 24, and Government rejected the contract that very same day as the Local Government Board had not approved hiring of the former banker.
Mr Mushore opposed Minister Kasukuwere’s decision in court, and also sought payment for the time he was in office.
But Justice Mafusire ruled the mattelast week dismissed the matter was not urgent, and that Minister Kasukuwere acted legally in kicking him out.
Justice Joseph Mafusire dismissed the application with costs, saying there had been no breach of contract.
“At best what he (Mr Mushore) was complaining about was purely a breach of an employment contract. But even with that, there was no breach of contract.
“The applicant also argued that he had not been afforded the right to be heard before he was sent home. Finally, the applicant pointed out, rather in passing, that since his appointment, he had not been paid his employment dues such as salaries and benefits or given the trappings of his office such as a vehicle.
“There were forces against his employment. Among other things the minister had wasted no time rescinding his appointment in terms of Section 132(1) of the Urban Council Act.
“In terms of Section 314 of the Act, the minister is empowered to reverse, suspend, and rescind a council resolution which is not in the interests of the public,” the High Court said.
Justice Mafusire said council’s failure to pay Mr Mushore his dues was not because of the decision to stop his appointment, but rather because the local authority was in dire financial straits.
“The applicant could get his salary once the situation has normalised or he could sue for damages. I have found the matter not to be urgent,” concluded Justice Mafusire.
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