Defender scores against former paymaster

Sport

Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
BULAWAYO City FC have been ordered to pay former defender Brighton Dube $5 350 in outstanding signing-on fees and salaries by a labour officer.
The municipal run club was given 30 days to settle the bill.
Dube who was owed salaries, signing-on fees and prize money, reported City to the Ministry of Labour on November 14, 2017 accusing the club of reneging on their agreement on the termination of his contract.
City and Dube had on May 23, 2017, agreed on a mutual termination of the player’s contract, which was expiring on December 31, 2017.
According to the player, City agreed to “pay six months’ notice of termination as well as half of the signing-on fees in three months instalments”.
Dube was to get a sum of $3 600 for the six months’ salary and $1 750, which was half of the $3 500 signing-on fees for the year. He also wanted his share of prize money for the 2016 season, which was to be determined by the club.
In their defence, City said they approached Dube with the view to terminate the contract “for footballing reasons”.
The club claimed that the player featured in less than 25 percent of their games, something that Dube challenged, resulting in labour officer Verukai Emilton ordering City to bring evidence of team cards, which they failed to provide.
City argued that Dube was only entitled to the signing-on fees, salary arrears up to the end of June and prize money for 2016, as they felt it was unjust to pay for the remainder of his contract.
In his ruling, Emilton noted that there were “deliberate” adjustments of termination dates by City as they tried to dig themselves out of the mud they had put themselves in.
“The respondent (City) argues in his oral submissions that the contract was terminated through a mutual agreement done on June 26, 2017, which contradicts his lead evidence that the meeting on the 22nd of May ushered the signing of termination by the claimant (Dube) on the 23rd of May 2017.
“However, the claimant says he was still contracted to the club up to December 2017. My analysis is that there is deliberate adjustment of dates from June 26, 2017, back to 22nd May 2017, the day on which a meeting to discuss termination of contract was held and the 23rd of May 2017 when the respondent served the claimant a proposal to terminate,” said Emilton.
He also noted that Dube signed for acknowledgment of receipt of the proposal and questioned why City wrote Dube a letter dated July 4 seeking to terminate his contract if he had signed to terminate his contract on May 23, 2017.
Footballers’ Union of Zimbabwe (Fuz) vice-president Herbert Dick also testified that Dube never signed a contract termination.
“The final termination letter dated 4 July 2017 is not signed by the claimant, which is a clear testimony that there was never a meeting of minds in the alleged arrangements.
“It is therefore ordered that the respondent observes requirements of Section 6 sub section (a) and (c) and section 13 (1) and (2) of the Labour Act Chapter 28.01 and therefore pays the claimant $3 600 outstanding salaries and $1 750 signing on fees balance, and the prize to be determined. The total debt of $5 350 to be paid in full within 30 days of the return of this application,” reads Emilton’s ruling.The Chronicle

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