Two former Zambia Army officers have dragged the state to court for alleged unfair and wrongful dismissal, lamenting that they have suffered emotional loss and are now subjects of public odium and ridicule as a result.
Jack Mbewe and Gezani Mwanza are claiming for an order that their dismissal be declared null and void, and damages for mental anguish and distress suffered.
They have sued the Attorney General Likando Kalaluka, saying they were not charged for any offence and neither were they given a chance to be heard.
In a statement of claim filed in the Lusaka High Court, July 9, the plaintiffs stated that before their unfair dismissal, they were working as lieutenant colonels and diligently rose to the rank of senior commissioned officers under the Zambia Army.
“Until their unfair and wrongful dismissal, the plaintiffs were at all material times in the employment of the Defence Force of Zambia under the Zambia Army as lieutenant colonels and diligently rose to the rank of senior commissioned officers. They were enlisted in the Zambia Army as officer cadets on January 10, 1987, respectively, and they rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel. The defendant is sued for the actions and conduct of the Army Commander of the Zambia Army, an agent of the state,” read the statement of claim.
The plaintiffs stated that they were unceremoniously dismissed from their employment on June 11 this year.
They lamented that they were not charged for any offence nor given any chance to be heard.
“The plaintiffs were on June 11, 2018, unceremoniously summarily dismissed from their employment. The plaintiffs had their commissions unfairly and wrongfully withdrawn from them. They were not charged for any offence and were not given a chance to be heard. On June 15, 2018, they were issued with eviction notices from the institutional houses,” read the statement of claim.
The plaintiffs disclosed that as a result of the unjustified dismissal and eviction from institutional houses, their dignity was injured and their outlook on society was lowered.
They stated that they were now subjects of public ridicule and had suffered emotional loss and damage, as a result of the dismissal.
“As a result of the unjustified dismissal and eviction from institutional houses, the plaintiffs’ dignity was injured and their outlook on society as a dignified persons, lowered. The plaintiffs have suffered emotional loss and damage. They are now subjects of public odium and ridicule,” read the statement further.
The two now claim for an order that their dismissal from the service was null and void, a declaration that they were unfairly and wrongfully discharged from the Zambia Army and an order that they continue working under the army in their respective ranks.
They further claim for an order that all lost allowances, salaries and entitlement be given to them with interest at the current bank lending rate, an order that they re-occupy their institutional houses, an order for damages for mental anguish and distress suffered, cost and any other reliefs that the court may deem fit.