Tuesday, 14 July 2020

TEACHER FACES THE SACK FOR STEALING BARBED WIRE


A GOROMONZI teacher has lost a High Court bid to block a pending disciplinary hearing into misconduct allegations that he stole barbed wire, sold it and pocketed the proceeds.

Chenjerai Nyakudya, a teacher at Nyambanje Primary School in Goromonzi, is facing misconduct charges after he sold a roll of barbed wire for $125 and converted the proceeds to his personal use.

The misconduct was allegedly committed in September 2016. Nyakudya was advised of the disciplinary hearing date, October 30, 2017.

He avoided the disciplinary tribunal and rushed to the High Court for an order to declare the pending proceedings permanently stayed. 

Nyakudya argued the authorities did not comply with the reasonable period required to conduct the inquiry because more than two years lapsed without a hearing.  However, Justice Tawanda Chitapi rejected Nyakudya’s application saying the court could not unjustifiably intervene in on-going proceedings lawfully instituted and pending before a lawfully constituted tribunal.

If such order was granted it could scupper the disciplinary proceedings and the worker’s discipline, said Justice Chitapi.

The court also found that no exceptional reasons were given by Nyakudya to justify the order of permanent stay of the proceedings other than that he considered that subjecting him to a misconduct hearing more than two years after the commencement of inquiry amounted to an infringement of his fair trial rights in terms of the Constitution.

Justice Chitapi said public policy was of paramount importance in this case as it overrides the need for the declaration sought. 

He criticised Nyakudya for dashing to court in a bid to avoid the inquiry into his misconduct allegations.

“There can be no worse interference example than what the applicant seeks to do in that the applicant did not raise his concerns about violation of his rights before the tribunal first,” said Justice Chitapi.

He warned Nyakudya that the tribunal was not a lame duck because it was competent to deal with his objections.

“The applicant has clearly circumvented the lawfully constituted disciplinary tribunal by coming to this court for an order rendering the pending proceedings nugatory,” said Justice Chitapi.

He added that public considerations do not support such circumventions. Herald

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