TAURAI MANGUDHLA / TINASHE MAKICHI
Former Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) chief executive Moris Mpofu is reportedly eyeing a comeback at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe following the termination of his contract after unsuccessful secondment tenure at the diamond miner.
Mpofu, who was seconded to the diamond miner in 2015, saw his contract with ZCDC terminated following his arrest on allegations of abuse of office.
He was accused of approving diamond sales to a blacklisted dealer, Hussein Robai.
But Mpofu has since been acquitted over the charges.
According to a communication seen by Business Times, Mpofu’s legal team is proposing his reinstatement at the apex bank considering that his contract there was still in existence.
Mpofu has a five-year contract with ZCDC lapsing in 2020.
“The client’s contract of employment with RBZ was not terminated. He was merely seconded to ZCDC. Secondment refers to the temporary transfer of an employee from one entity to another.
Secondment does not terminate the contract of employment between the seconded employee and the seconding employer,” read part of the legal documents seen by Business Times.
“Where the employer to whom the employee has been seconded terminates the relationship with the seconded employee, the relationship between the seconding employer and the seconded employee is not thereby terminated.
This position has been affirmed in several judgments of our courts.”
Mpofu’s legal team noted that secondment of their client to ZCDC did not terminate the employment relationship between the client and the RBZ.
Information at hand also suggests the RBZ paid part of Mpofu’s legal fees for his battle with ZCDC.
In terms of the secondment letter, Mpofu was to resume his duties at the RBZ upon his return to the RBZ and it was envisaged at the time that he would serve ZCDC for five years.
With the termination of his contract with ZCDC, it was no longer possible for Mpofu to serve ZCDC for five years and in other words, the secondment ended earlier than envisaged by the parties.
The issue that has now arisen is whether Mpofu can resume his duties at the RBZ following his acquittal.
“It is our view that what the RBZ and Mpofu envisaged was that he would be away from the RBZ for as long as his relationship with ZCDC existed.
With the termination of the relationship between the employee and ZCDC, the employee should approach the RBZ and indicate his availability to resume duties immediately or subject to terms to be agreed on by the parties,” reads part of the communication.