Ngqwele Dube, Sports Correspondent
PREMIER Soccer League side, Yadah are facing a $74 000 lawsuit after failing to fulfil their contractual obligations to former coach, Jairos Tapera, who was given the boot in unpleasant circumstances last year.
The two parties were set to appear for conciliation at the Labour offices at Makombe Building in Harare on 9 April but representatives of Walter Magaya-owned Yadah did not turn up resulting in the labour officer issuing a certificate of no settlement.
The former Zimbabwe Under-20 national team coach, through his lawyer, Jackson Mpopera of Saratoga Makusi Law Chambers is demanding $74 000 as part of contractual and terminal benefits. Mpopera said after failure of conciliation they are proceeding to file written submissions which will be heard on its merits by the same labour officer.
“Conciliation would have offered us the opportunity to engage with Yadah and possibly come to an agreement but unfortunately they did not turn up and a certificate of no settlement was issued and now we are heading to the next stage,” he said.
This is the second time officials from the club have played the hide and seek game after they did not turn up on the initial date, 27 March, after which Yadah chairman, Everson Chatambudza was called and he indicated he would be available on 9 April but still did not turn up on the day.
Tapera was sidelined from his duties at the club mid-last year but Yadah officials later claimed they had earmarked him to head a project in South Africa. According to a letter of demand written by the law firm dated 30 November 2017, Tapera’s contract with Yadah was supposed to run until December 2019 and the club should pay terminal benefits due to the coach after they fired him July last year.
In the correspondence, Mupopera states: “. . . At the end of July 2017 following a meeting held between our client, club chairman, chief executive officer and team manager, our client was advised that he should no longer report for duty until further notice and would be advised on the way forward regarding the remainder of his contractual period. Since then our client has not been paid his monthly remuneration and benefits save for payment of $3 150,00 which was not explained what it was for.
“Such conduct on the part of the football club amounts to constructive dismissal and/or unlawful termination of our client’s fixed term contract. As a result of such conduct, our client is entitled to be paid his contractual or terminal benefits in the sum of US$74 750.”
In a schedule attached to the letter, Tapera is demanding $43 500 in outstanding salary arrears dues from August 2017 to December 2019 as he earned
$1 500 a month, $14 500 for accommodation expenses between February 2017 and December 2019.
The former Shabanie Mine and FC Platinum coach says he is also owed $10 500 in school fees allowances for his two children which he was entitled to as part of his contract for 2017, additionally he is claiming $4 000, for refreshments, winning bonuses for six games at $1 200 and $800 winning bonuses for games after July 2017 and lastly drawn matches bonuses for eight games.
Yadah were promoted into the PSL last year and survived relegation after Thomas Ruzive had taken over as head coach.
Although there were rumours Magaya wanted to give up the franchise at the start of the season, he has held on and the team is still under the guidance of Ruzive.