Home » Judicial » Former Powertel Boss Wins Case

Former Powertel Communications financial director Mr Warner Mtisi, who was unlawfully fired in 2012, will now get damages to the tune of $317 000 after the company failed to reinstate him. Mr Mtisi was fired a few days before Powertel signed a contract to employ Dr Denford Magaya as a consultant on a hefty package.

His dismissal had been linked to his contesting the decision to hire Dr Magaya as a business strategist consultant on a lucrative package.

Arbitrator Mr John Mawire last year declared the dismissal as unlawful and ordered Powertel to immediately reinstate him to his position.

However, the firm failed to reinstate him and instead, the arbitrator ordered it to pay Mr Mtisi damages amounting to $217 000 plus $99 989 outstanding back pay.

According to the court papers, Mr Mtisi was fired on September 5, 2012 on allegations of disregarding the procurement procedure in awarding contracts to Yarncase Investments.

He was also convicted by the company for flouting tender procedures in renewing business for civil works for two companies, Zebra Contracting and Vicemode Investments.

Mr Mtisi successfully appealed against the decision before an arbitrator and an order for reinstatement was issued. Aggrieved by the finding, Powertel appealed to the Labour Court, a challenge that was thrown out in October this year by Justice Lilian Hove.

Justice Hove ruled that the arbitrator’s decision was correct and that Mr Mtisi should go back to work.

Top labour lawyer Mr Caleb Mucheche of Matsikidze and Mucheche Legal Practitioners, represented Mr Mtisi while Aocate Lewis Uriri acted for Powertel.

During the hearing, Powertel argued that Mr Mtisi was not entitled to any damages because he was now employed by Moonlight Funeral Services.

Powertel argued that Mr Mtisi was seen driving a Moonlight vehicle and that he was now enjoying fuel and school fees allowances from the funeral services company.

But Mr Mtisi convinced the arbitrator that he was merely a consultant at Moonlight and not a full-time employee.

He also argued that he deserved compensation for the unlawful dismissal because jobs were now scarce and that he had unsuccessfully tried to get one over the past two year.

Source : The Herald