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PG top dogs face arrest

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PG INDUSTRIES group chief executive officer Hillary Munyati and human resources executive Caroline Mapupu face arrest for deliberately supplying the Bulawayo High Court with false information in the ongoing retrenchment case against one of its subsidiary companies’ marketing director Nkululeko Mabhena.

RICHARD MUPONDE
SENIOR COURT REPORTER

Mabhena was employed as marketing director of PG Industries’ subsidiary Zimboard Products Pvt Ltd, but in papers filed at the High Court, Munyathi and Mapupu submitted that Zimboard was non-existent.

Mabhena is suing the company for $73 million in salary arrears and benefits.

He filed papers at the High Court on Monday seeking the arrest of Munyati and Mapupu for contempt of court after they allegedly supplied false information claiming that Zimboard was a non-existent company.

PG Industries (Zimbabwe) Ltd, PG Zimboard Products Pvt Ltd, Munyati and Manica Boards and Doors (Pvt) Ltd are cited as 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th defendants respectively.

PG Industries lawyer Advocate Thabani Mpofu admitted to the court that the company resorted to “creative compliance” in submissions to the Retrenchment Board.

Mabhena said Munyathi and Mapupu should be held in contempt of court for lying because the then Labour and Social Welfare ministry could not have approved his retrenchment from a non-existent company.

This follows a confession by the Retrenchment Board chairperson Fannuel Francis Mafuratidze in November last year that he had exclusively dealt with Mabhena’s retrenchment without the involvement of the minister as required by the law.

Mafuratidze confessed after Mabhena sued the new Labour minister Nicholas Goche over the retrenchment approval.

Goche reportedly distanced himself from the matter.

The ministry fell under the MDC-T’s Paurina Mpariwa during the coalition government era.

After the approval, PG Industries deposited $10 000 into Mabhena’s account as a retrenchment package and offered him an old Madza B1800 at book value.

Mabhena sued Goche challenging his compulsory retrenchment, arguing that proper remuneration policy procedure had not been followed in approving his retrenchment.

The matter is still to be set down for hearing.

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