Monday, 30 October 2017

LOVESTRUCK TEACHER GETS JOB BACK

THE Labour Court has ordered the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Dr Lazarus Dokora, and the Civil Service Commission (CSC) to reinstate a Ntabazinduna teacher who was fired last year for allegedly falling in love with a Form Two pupil.

Thabo Siziba, who was employed as senior teacher at David Livingstone Memorial Secondary School in Ntabazinduna, was relieved of his duties for misconduct and violating section 144 (2) (a) of the Public Service Regulations of 2000 following a disciplinary hearing.

He was accused of improperly associating with the minor after proposing love to her. The matter reportedly came to light following an anonymous letter written to the district education offices after authorities had allegedly tried to sweep the matter under the carpet.

The ruling by Bulawayo Labour Court judge Justice Mercy Moya-Matshanga follows an appeal by Siziba challenging his dismissal. In papers before the court, Minister Dokora and CSC were cited as the respondents. Siziba, who was a self-actor, sought an order setting aside a decision by the respondents to dismiss him. Justice Moya-Matshanga ruled that Siziba’s dismissal was irregular because of discrepancies in the evidence of the witnesses.

“In the absence of explanations for the discrepancies, I am forced to give the appellant (Siziba) the benefit of the doubt. I find on a balance of probabilities that he did not commit the alleged offence. There is no credible evidence against him and I hereby allow the appeal with costs,” said the judge.

Justice Moya-Matshanga ordered the respondents to reinstate Siziba without loss of salary and benefits.

“The decision of the disciplinary authority is hereby set aside. The respondents are ordered to reinstate the appellant at a different school, probably a boys’ only school, and reinstatement should be without loss of salary and benefits,” ruled the judge.
Justice Moya-Matshanga said in the event that reinstatement is no longer possible, Siziba should be paid damages.
“Parties are to agree on the quantum of damages. In the event of failure to agree on the quantum, the parties are to approach the court for quantification,” she said.

According to court papers, on August 22 last year, Siziba was alleged to have proposed love to the girl soon after she had finished eating lunch at the dining hall. One of the complainant’s friends, who had been eavesdropping, allegedly picked the conversation. He then confronted the girl about the matter and she revealed everything that had transpired. chronicle

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