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Witnesses narrate how Siame was fired from IDCBy Zondiwe Mbewe on 5 Sep 2018
Witnesses on Monday narrated to the Industrial Relations Court the events which led to former IDC executive director operations Paul Siame’s termination of employment in a matter where he sued the Industrial Development Corporation for illegal termination of contract.
In this case, IDC is represented by Lubinda Linyama of Eric Silwamba and Company, while former Attorney General Musa Mwenye State Counsel of Mwenye & Mwitwa Advocates, as well as Mwape Bwalya State Counsel, are representing Siame.
Below is the verbatim of the continued cross examination of the first witness, former IDC chief executive officer Andrew Chipwende on September 3, 2018:
Defence counsel Musa Mwenye: Morning, Mr Chipwende?
Chipwende: Morning, State Counsel.
Mwenye: Last time this matter came, we looked at several things. I want to draw your attention to something that arose, the meeting of October 14, 2016, at State House. Do you recall that?
Chipwende: I do recall.
Mwenye: Would you tell the court who you met on October 14, 2016, at State House?
Chipwende: We met the Special Assistant to the President for Economic Affairs and Development, Mr Hibeene Mwiinga.
Mwenye: And he was meeting you on behalf of the President. Is that correct?
Chipwende: That’s correct.
Mwenye: And the President is the chairman of the board of IDC?
Chipwende: IDC yes.
Mwenye: Do you recall that, in that meeting, the board chairman directed you to stop all disciplinary proceedings and to refer everything to the board?
Chipwende: Your lordship, I don’t fully recall that item being discussed.
Mwenye: Is it possible that you were directed to refer all disciplinary issues to the board?
Chipwende: Your lordship, there were some items that were directed to refer to the board.
Mwenye: You recall that on that date, October 14, 2016, a directive was issued by the board chairperson that the complainant and Mr Mate report for work immediately?
Chipwende: That is correct.
Mwenye: Are you aware that the complainant’s employment contract was terminated on the November 11, 2016?
Chipwende: I do recall. That is correct.
Mwenye: Please confirm that the directive for the complainant to resume his duties was issued less than a month before the termination of his services?
Chipwende: The directive to go back to work was given on October 14, 2016, and if I’m not mistaken, the termination letters were received on November 11, 2016.
Mwenye: So, that is less than a month. Did you prepare the board papers as directed by the board chairperson?
Chipwende: Not finalised, they were work in progress.
Mwenye: So, the board papers were not prepared and the board meeting was never convened before you left?
Chipwende: There was no board meeting convened.
Mwenye: So, this meeting was held on October 14, 2016, at State House, which was a Friday. Do you recall that?
Chipwende: Yes, it was a Friday
Mwenye: Isn’t it true, Mr Chipwende, that in fact you didn’t report for work substantively until Thursday the next week?
Chipwende: No, I was working throughout that period.
Mwenye: I put it to you that, the meeting between yourself and the complainant took place on October 20, 2016, and not October 17, 2016, as you had told the court last time.
Chipwende: On the October 17, 2016, Mr Siame and Mr Mate came to my office.
Mwenye: In that meeting between yourself, the complainant and Mr Mate, isn’t it true that the preparation of the board papers arose as an item in that meeting? Didn’t the complainant and Mr Mate raise the issue of the directive to prepare board papers? Did this issue come up in any form?
Chipwende: I don’t recall fully.
Mwenye: My Lord, I’m referring the witness to exhibit PMS6 in the affidavit in reply filed on February 1, 2018. You have seen that document?
Chipwende: I have seen it.
Mwenye: Would you tell the court what it is.
Chipwende: It’s a letter dated October 14, 2016, and it was addressed to the Special Assistant to the President for Economic Development Affairs at State House, written by myself in my capacity as CEO of IDC. And the letter related to confirming the directives that were given.
Mwenye: Would you just confirm that that letter is in fact [a] record [of] the directive that the complainant was to resume duties immediately?
Chipwende: That was the first directive that Mr Paul Siame and Mr Charles Mate received that they can resume work immediately.
Mwenye: Please also confirm that this letter was copied to the board chairperson of the committees to give effect to the directive?
Chipwende: That is correct.
Mwenye: Among the directives you were given was that, a meeting should be convened the following week to agree on the agenda of the board meeting. You recall that?
Chipwende: A meeting with the special assistant, that’s correct.
Mwenye: Did you reach out and arrange for that meeting?
Chipwende: I did reach out, but the meeting was not confirmed.
Mwenye: Are you aware that the Special Assistant to the President met the complainant and Mr Charles Mate on November 4, 2016, to discuss the agenda for the board meeting?
Chipwende: I’m not aware.
Mwenye: Are you also aware that the reason why the Special Assistant to the President met the complainant and Mr Charles Mate without you is because you were unresponsive?
Chipwende: I’m not aware of that.
Mwenye: My Lord, I would like to refer the witness to exhibit MCK3 of the affidavit verifying answer, which was filed on the September 29, 2017. Look at that document; last time when this matter came, you confirmed that following that document, there was no disciplinary proceedings that occurred after that document. You recall that?
Chipwende: I do recall informing the court that I did not receive the response from the addressee of the letter Mr Siame and, therefore, we did not proceed…as CEO I did not receive exculpatory letter as directed in the letter from Mr Siame.
Mwenye: And, therefore, you could not proceed with the disciplinary procedure?
Chipwende: That’s correct.
Mwenye: Now, look at those charges in MCK3. Would you confirm that to a large extent, those charges are irregularities that were alleged by the complainant? Would you confirm that those charges that you raised there recited the irregularities that the complainant had told?
Chipwende: These are the items that the complainant had…
Mwenye:…Raised with you? Let’s take B, for example, why would you charge an employee for making that statement?
Chipwende: Because as serving employees, we were aware that these Articles of Association, which we had copies of, were duly lodged and filed by the shareholders in the Company’s Act and, therefore, could not have illegal. So, by assuming or alleging that they are illegal, would be putting the company at risk because this is the document that governs the company’s conduct.
Mwenye: How would the company be at risk?
Chipwende: Because it wasn’t a correct claim that the Articles were illegal.
Mwenye: So, Mr Chipwende your position is that, the mere fact of an employee raising irregularities with you, whether they are true or not, is a disciplinary case? Just the mere fact that an employee comes to you and says that, ‘I think this is illegal,’ ‘I think that is irregular,’ is a disciplinary offence?
Chipwende: In my view, this will be disciplinary.
Mwenye: I see. Do you recall that around the same time an issue arose concerning you in the Auditor General’s Report of 2012?
Chipwende: I need more information on that.
Mwenye: According to the Auditor General’s Report of 2012, there was a finding that you had accessed US$60,000 between May, 2011, to October, 2013. You recall that?
Chipwende: I do recall that, but that was when I was still at Zambia Development Agency and not at IDC. I presented documentation and that matter was actually cleared.
Mwenye: Do you recall that early November, 2016, Transparency International Zambia had called for your dismissal…
Linyama: (objects) The character of the witness is now being attacked. We feel that this is unfair. We, therefore, seek the guidance of the court.
Mwenye: It’s not an intention to embarrass this witness. The period of which this issue arose is very relevant.
Linyama: We still feel that our objection should be sustained. We feel that the issue of irregularities can be raised in a particular way without attacking the person on the stand.
Judge Musona: The US dollars, this issue from ZDA are not needed in this case, are they? Therefore, objection is sustained.
Mwenye: We are on the irregularities that were raised by the complainant. Was there anything wrong with any employee within the IDC raising irregularities and what they believed to be unlawful; was there anything wrong with that?
Chipwende: In my view that was wrong.
Mwenye: So, after you heard these irregularities and allegations, you were at liberty to investigate them and come up with a decision as the CEO, correct?
Chipwende: That’s correct.
Mwenye: So, you could have dismissed the allegations that were raised by the complainant…you could have just said that, ‘I have looked at them,’ ‘they are not true’ and moved on from there.
Chipwende: I wanted the addressee to respond to these allegations in writing. To exculpate himself.
Mwenye: So you asked him to exculpate himself because he raised allegations of irregularities and illegalities?
Chipwende: The charges I considered he should exculpate himself…
Mwenye: Do you know why your services were terminated in the same fashion to the complainant?
Chipwende: I’m aware that I received my letter around the same time, but I’m not aware whether they were similar.
Mwenye: Let’s talk about Mr Mateyo Kaluba CEO of IDC. When did he join IDC?
Chipwende: He joined on secondment …about 2014. The secondment was still running in 2016.
Mwenye: Would I be correct to say that, Mr Kaluba was not part of the management team, executive team during the time you were CEO of IDC?
Chipwende: The executive were three officials and Mr Kaluba was not the executive.
Mwenye: So, Mr Kaluba wouldn’t know what was happening between yourself, Mr Mate and the complainant?
Chipwende: I would not speak on him (his behalf).
Mwenye: That’s a very fair answer. Did you involve Mr Kaluba in what was happening between yourself, the complainant and Mr Mate?
Chipwende: I cannot recall.
Mwenye: Thank you very much. I have no further questions.
Lubinda Linyama: Mr Chipwende, you were referred to the document PM6 in the affidavit in reply filed February 1, 2018. Please look at that document… You recall this morning having looked at that document. A question was put that among the directives given at State House was that, all disciplinary matters must be referred to the board. Do you recall that question?
Chipwende: I do recall.
Linyama: Could you please show the court, among the directives that are highlighted there, where that particular directive is?
Chipwende: It wasn’t among the directives.
Linyama: There is no such directive?
Chipwende: Not that I can see on this [file].
Linyama: You were also referred to the letter you wrote to the complainant. You were asked several questions relating to those charges. An issue arose this morning, could you clarify and tell the court why you opted to charge the complainant with those particular charges?
Chipwende: Because the officer I addressed in this letter had conducted himself in the manner that I thought wasn’t befitting to the position held in the organization.
Linyama: You were asked a follow-up question based on that same document that you are looking at, that what transpired after that letter was given to the complainant. If you recall, your answer was that as CEO, you did not proceed with any other disciplinary proceedings. Do you recall?
Chipwende: I do recall.
Linyama: I would like you explain to the court why you didn’t proceed with any further disciplinary proceedings after having charged Mr Siame?
Chipwende: Because I had requested Mr Siame to submit a written letter to exculpate himself, but this wasn’t done and I could not take this matter further to the relevant board committee for further action.
Linyama: Mr Chipwende, I would like you recall the proceedings when the cross examination began, in particular the issue relating to Zampalm at the last time this matter came up. There was an issue regarding to a reservation by the IFC; that the IFC had some reservations relating to an investment in a palm tree project by IDC. Would you tell the court what reservations IFC had in IDC proceeding with the Zampalm project?
Chipwende: The IFC reservation related to their position as a shareholder in Zambeef, which was the entity that owned Zampalm. Specifically, they were of the view that they could not support deployment of further capital or investment in Zampalm as shareholder in Zambeef.
Linyama: You were asked at the last sitting that on the issue relating to Siame’s suspension. Would you please clarify the matter relating to Mr Siame’s suspension prior to the meeting at State House?
Chipwende: It was done by the committee of the board.
Linyama: There was a question put to you by State Counsel relating to your termination of employment. Would you tell the court the reason given by your former employer for the termination of employment?
Chipwende: I don’t have a letter with me, but there was no reason given for my termination.
Linyama: There was a question put to you in cross examination that on October 17, 2016, Mr Siame together with Mr Mate, walked into your office yet you did not charge Mr Mate similar charges you gave Mr Siame. Could you please explain why that is so?
Chipwende: Because when the two executive directors came to my office, Mr Mate largely remained silent and all these allegations were coming from the complainant.
Linyama: Just for sake of clarity. Would you recall when the complainant was suspended?
Chipwende: I have to look at the letters, but it was after September 16, I can’t recall the exact date.
Linyama: Explain to the court when was this meeting at State House held?
Chipwende: Friday, October 14.
Linyama: When did you have a meeting with the complainant where you laid those charges?
Chipwende: The charges arose on a Monday, after a State House meeting.
Linyama: There was an issue that arose regarding the delay in senior management members in signing a contract. It was put to you and you said it was incorrect to state that there was refusal, but a mere delay. Could you explain this aspect of the delay to sign the contract of employment?
Chipwende: From the time that the contract of employment had been approved by the finance committee, and at the time that the meeting was being held in December, the contract had not being signed. There was no record of the signed contract. And I do recall that these contracts were subsequently signed, but not at the time that this meeting was being held by the finance committee.
Linyama: Would you clarify to the court the issues raised with Secretary to the Cabinet relating to the composition of the board of IDC. The vetting aspect.
Chipwende: I wasn’t really sure as to what the issues were because as far as I do recollect, the board members of IDC were duly appointed by the President. As far as I recollect, they were properly appointed.
Linyama: Questions were put to you on the status of the investment guidelines and you tried to explain to the court that at the board meeting on December 29, 2015, these guidelines were not approved. Could you please clarify, up to the time you left, the status of those investment guidelines?
Chipwende: The investment guidelines were under consideration by the investment committee of the board of agency and were yet to be resubmitted to the IDC board for approval.
Linyama: There was one question that was put to you by State Counsel relating to your status as CEO in terms of the termination. Clarify, were you facing any disciplinary hearing prior to your termination?
Chipwende: No, I wasn’t.
Linyama: My lord, that would be all from Mr Chipwende in re-examination. Lord, we are calling out second witness.
Judge Musona: Can we just have a 10 minutes break?
After 10 minutess, the second witness is called on the stand…
Linyama: Witness please tell the court your full names.
Witness: My names are Lizzie Mubangalala Mukwasa.
Linyama: How old are you?
Linyama: Where do you reside?
Linyama: Tell the court your occupation?
Mukwasa: Manager Human Capital and Administration at IDC.
Linyama: How long have you worked with IDC?
Mukwasa: Two and half years.
Linyama: As you might be aware, we are in this court because of an action commenced by Mr Siame, the former employee of IDC. What was your involvement in this particular matter in your capacity at IDC as HR?
Mukwasa: I was not involved at my level.
Linyama: As the HR unit what did you do in respect of this particular matter?
Mukwasa: The aspect we handled was to verify the computation of the terminal package.
Linyama: Please explain to the court how that process is done?
Mukwasa: The finance team computes the package, then it is brought to our department, which is human capital, for verification. Once we agree internally, the computations are sent to the individual who is being terminated for verification. Then we wait for feedback from the individual confirming whether or not the computations are correct. If agreed, then the company proceeds.
Linyama: Let’s look at the case in court today. Do you recall handling any such of the processes you have applied in court?
Mukwasa: Yes, I do.
Linyama: Please explain to the court how you proceeded with Mr Siame’s case.
Mukwasa: I got the computations from the finance, we verified them, sent them back to finance and the finance person sent them to Mr Siame [for verification].
Linyama: I’m referring the witness to the first respondent’s bundle of documents, which we filed into court on April 3, 2018, in particular page three. Explain to the court what document you are looking at?
Mukwasa: Final gratuity and leave pay computations in respect to Mr Paul Siame, executive director corporations.
Linyama: You can confirm to the court that that is the document you were referring to earlier on before it was shown to you?
Mukwasa: Yes, it is.
Linyama: If you can be of assistance to the court to run through the heads of payments that are tabulated in this particular computation.
Mukwasa: In this computation, the conditions of service pertaining to the officer at the time of termination. So, the first heading, salary in lieu of notice. The sum total under the first heading was K647,283.92.
Linyama: Can you please explain the second pay?
Mukwasa: The second pay is gratuity. This one is of a period from January 28, 2015, to November 11, 2016. And it is gratuity amounting to K2,84,447.27, those were the total earnings. Then gratuity is at 35 per cent for the total earnings, which came to K996,606.65.
Linyama: Proceed and explain the third heading?
Mukwasa: The next heading is leave pay. Total number of cumulative leave days to November 2016 were 38.5. Then total number of days for the three months in lieu of notice were at 10.5. And the total leave pay amounted to K294,356.36. That gave us a total gross payable to the employee amounting to K1,938,246.83. Then tax payable to ZRA was K328,249.85. Then there were other deductions, which came to K843.97. Then total net payable after the deductions came to K1,609,996.98. Then sale of motor vehicle registration number BAA 6878 Jeep Cherokee, an amount of K457,863.73. And, therefore, the net pay after deduction of third party loans was K1,152,133.25.
Linyama: I would like you go to page one in the same bundle; just confirm the last figure that is there.
Mukwasa: Page one, there is transfer instruction to the branch manager Zambia National Commercial Bank and we have two beneficiaries, Mr Andrew Chipwende and Mr Paul Siame.
Linyama: Confirm to the court how much was Mr Siame paid based on the document on page one?
Mukwasa: It was K1,152,133.25.
Linyama: Is there anything that you wish to tell the court regarding the role you played in this case?
Mukwasa: Nothing, your honour.
Linyama: I have no further questions in examination in chief.
Mwenye: Good morning, Mrs Mukwasa? You testified in examination in chief that you joined IDC two and half years ago. Now, you joined from the ZCCM-IH is that correct?
Mwenye: And you were serving on short-term contract until when?
Mukwasa: I was working for ZCCM-IH, so whilst working for ZCCM-IH, I was identified and engaged as an interim human resource manager for IDC. It’s the position I took up in May, 2015.
Mwenye: My math may be wrong, but May, 2015, to now is more than two and half years. Is that correct?
Mukwasa: I was interim. I joined IDC full-time in February, 2016.
Mwenye: You are well vested [in] the contract of employment that the complainant signed. Are you not?
Mukwasa: I never saw it.
Mwenye: So, your department was never consulted over the human resource issues of the complainant?
Mwenye: Isn’t it true that, from your experience with the respondent and generally in human resource issues, isn’t it true that, you do not pay gratuity to an employee who has been dismissed?
Mukwasa: Gratuity is accrued and is payable for the period of employment.
Mwenye: I want to show you the complainant’s contract of services. Please look at that document…That’s a contract of employment, which was signed between the complainant and the first respondent. You told the court earlier on that you were responsible for verifying the terminal benefits payable to the complainant. Is that not correct?
Mukwasa: That’s correct.
Mwenye: How did you do that without looking at the contractual benefits?
Mukwasa: What is payable to the employee is contained in the conditions of service.
Mwenye: Wouldn’t you agree with me that, according to clause 8.2, the complainant would not be paid gratuity if he was dismissed?…According to clause 8.2, the complainant was only entitled to gratuity if he was not dismissed?
Mwenye: And the complainant was paid gratuity, IDC paid the complainant gratuity?
Mwenye: My lord, I’m referring the witness to PMS7A, please look at that documentation. Could you tell the court what that document is?
Mukwasa: It’s also reading final gratuity and leave day computations in respect to Mr Paul Siame.
Mwenye: Can you see your signature?
Mwenye: When was that document prepared?
Mukwasa: This document was prepared after there was a letter stating the termination of employment.
Mwenye: Wouldn’t you agree with me that that is a document that Mr Siame was availed?
Mukwasa: This document is a second document. This was an initial document.
Mwenye: And that document was availed to Mr Siame?
Mukwasa: It was not me personally, but IDC availed it to Mr Siame.
Mwenye: You were shown by my learned friend another document at page three of the respondent’s bundle of documents.
Mukwasa: (shown the documents).
Mwenye: You recall that?
Mwenye: When was that document prepared?
Mukwasa: November 28, 2016.
Mwenye: Could you confirm that the net amount payable in that document is different from the net amount payable in PMS7?
Mukwasa: Yes, they are different.
Mwenye: Let’s talk about the dates. You were referred to the instruction to the bank at page two of the respondent’s Vs complainant’s bundle of document. Could you tell the court what the date of that letter of instruction to the bank is?
Mukwasa: November 28, 2016.
Mwenye: Earlier, you told the court that you got Mr Siame’s consent over the calculations. You recall that?
Mukwasa: Yes, I do.
Mwenye: The computation, according to what you told the court, was prepared on the same day that the letter of instruction was done. Is that correct?
Mukwasa: Yes, correct.
Mwenye: Madam, when did you get Mr Siame’s consent considering that the computation was prepared on the same day the instruction to the bank was prepared and stamped by the bank?
Mukwasa: It was got prior.
Mwenye: Prior to the preparation? So, your testimony is that you got his consent before the computation was prepared?
Mukwasa: Before the final computation.
Mwenye: So, the final computation was not consented to by the complainant?
Mukwasa: I wouldn’t be in a position to say.
Mwenye: In examination in chief you said Mr Siame’s consent was gotten; in fairness would you like to withdraw that? Because now, you wouldn’t be in a position to say. We want to have a clean record. In view of what you have said now, would you like to withdraw that position?
Mukwasa: I will maintain it.
Mwenye: Let’s talk about the vehicle. How much was the vehicle procured?
Mukwasa: I’m not aware.
Mwenye: Have you ever been aware of the purchase cost of the vehicle?
Mwenye: Madam, how did you verify the net value of the vehicle if you were not aware of the purchasing price?
Mukwasa: I may not recall exactly how much the vehicle costed, but we were given the book value of the car at the time of the termination.
Mwenye: That’s all for this court.
Linyama: There was a question put to on whether the department was consulted and your answer was that you were never consulted. What is this case that you said you were never consulted?
Mukwasa: Ideally, when there is a hearing, the human resource department will be consulted, but for this one, we didn’t know whatever was happening.
Linyama: You were taken to the contract of employment and you were being taken to task that if a person is dismissed, they should not be paid anything in terms of gratuity. You recall that question?
Mukwasa: Yes, my lord.
Linyama: Kindly confirm to the court the terms of this termination? What transpired?
Mukwasa: There was a letter terminating the contract of employment so that was the basis to compute the gratuity.
Linyama: No further questions.
Third witness is called to the stand…
Linyama: Please tell the court your full names.
Witness: My names are Pamela Siame Musepa.
Linyama: How old are you?
Musepa: 50 years.
Linyama: What’s your occupation?
Musepa: Chief Corporate Services Officer.
Linyama: Where do you work?
Linyama: How long have you being at IDC?
Musepa: I initially joined on October 1, 2015.
Linyama: This matter we are here for involves Mr Paul Siame and IDC. Do you know the complainant Mr Siame?
Musepa: Yes, I do.
Linyama: How do you know him?
Musepa: We were colleagues when he worked at IDC.
Linyama: How long did you work with him?
Musepa: From the time I joined.
Linyama: What was your interaction with Mr Siame in the month of October, 2016?
Musepa: On October 14, 2016, I recall Mr Siame coming to IDC after serving his suspension and we did have a conversation in my office.
Linyama: What was this conversation that you had?
Musepa: He came to my office; he greeted me and my other colleague. I was with Chitalu Chisanga. Mr Siame came in quite upset and he did mention that IDC was not going to get rid of him very easily.
Linyama: Please proceed and tell the court these events.
Musepa: After he said that, I recall having told him to cool down and also to behave as a bigger man. He left my office after a while…
Linyama: Before you continue, what did he say in particular? Tell the court because we were not there.
Musepa: It bordered around him being suspended and being not happy about it and him saying that he was not going to be gotten rid of easily because he was one of the founders of IDC.
Linyama: Who was he upset with?
Musepa: He was upset with the authority. Repeatedly, he kept saying the same thing and I kept telling him to cool down and behave as a bigger man. He left the office, after a while I received a phone call from my husband telling me that my mother-in-law had passed on. So, I started filling in my leave forms and after I was done, I took them to the office of the PA to the CEO, that’s where we logged in the application forms for leave.
Linyama: Who was the CEO at the time?
Musepa: Mr Andrew Chipwende.
Linyama: What happened?
Musepa: In her office, I found Mr Siame and two other colleagues; one of them, who was in my office earlier, and the other one was Gary Moonga. As I went with my form, I gave the PA and I emphasised that she should bring it to his (CEO’s) attention should he come back to the office. As a matter of courtesy, I mentioned to Mr Siame that I had lost my mother-in-law and I was taking a few days off. He mentioned that I should be careful when I go away because the same way they had engineered his suspension, they will just follow me. I was at the loss for words, but then he kept on talking using disparaging remarks over the authority.
Linyama: When you say the authority?
Musepa: I’m referring to Mr Chipwende, the CEO. When he issued some remarks, he called Mr Chipwende a fool and that he was big for nothing. I mentioned to him that it was not right for him to speak like that in front of us. He didn’t heed to what I said; he told me that he was going to repeat the same words and he repeated them. I still told him to calm down and be the bigger man and I left the office.
Linyama: Your honour that will be all.
Mwenye: Mrs Musepa, you initially said that you are in charge of human capital. Who is senior between yourself or Mrs Mukwasa?
Musepa: I am.
Mwenye: And you are both in charge of human capital, but you are the senior one?
Mwenye: Now, I want to refer you to a document that Mrs Mukwasa was referred to earlier, the bundle of documents. That is computation of Mr Siame’s terminal benefits. When do you get paid at IDC?
Musepa: Around 21st.
Mwenye: So, would I be correct to say that the IDC paid month is from the 22 of the previous month to the 21 of the next month?
Mwenye: Are you aware that Mr Siame’s services or contract was terminated on November 11, 2016?
Musepa: The details of the date?
Mwenye: Let me make it simpler, Mr Siame’s contract was terminated on November 11, 2016. Would I be correct that he should have been paid from the October 22 to November 11, 2016?
Musepa: I cannot answer that.
Mwenye: But you confirm that pay day is on the 21st of every month?
Mwenye: Have you been called to any disciplinary proceedings over what happened on October 14, 2016?
Mwenye: Have you given any written report over the incidence of October 14, 2016?
Mwenye: Are you aware of whether or not Mr Siame, the complainant, was charged with the events of October 14, 2016?
Musepa: No, I’m not aware.
Mwenye: My lord, I’m referring the witness to exhibit MCK in the affidavit of the final answer, it was filed September 29, 2017. Madam, that is the only charge letter that has ever been written to Mr Siame, the complainant from IDC. Can you tell us whether the alleged incident of October 14, 2016, is mentioned there? Take your time. Wouldn’t you agree with me that, that incident was never mentioned in that letter from Mr Chipwende to Mr Siame?
Musepa: No, it’s not.
Mwenye: Do you see any events of the 14th being talked about in that letter?
Mwenye: Your working relationship with Mr Siame; would I be correct to say it was very friendly?
Musepa: Very alright.
Mwenye: In fact, even after his leaving employment, you continued this friendly relationship isn’t it?
Musepa: We communicated only on two occasions. Because we had a good relationship and I was shocked with his conduct on that day so I kept away.
Mwenye: According to you, the words that you were finding difficult repeating earlier on in your examination in chief was that, Mr Siame called the CEO a fool and that he was big for nothing, correct?
Musepa: Yes, they were heavy for me.
Mwenye: Do you recall meeting Mr Siame on June 20, 2016, of which you were advising him to be careful of the CEO? Do you recall ever telling Mr Siame that he should be careful of the CEO?
Musepa: No, I don’t recall.
Mwenye: Why would he come to your office on that day, why you in particular?
Musepa: Because he was my supervisor.
Mwenye: So, of all the people Mr Siame supervised, he only came to your office on that day? Would I be correct to say because you shared confidences with him over the conduct of the CEO?
Musepa: I don’t think that assumption was correct. I had a good relationship with Mr Siame.
Mwenye: So, it was not shocking that he would share such details with you on that day?
Musepa: It wasn’t really like we were talking. Yes, he was talking, but he had this outburst. You could hear him from corridors.
Mwenye: So, he came to your office. Why your office? Your answer was that, you had a good relationship with me.
Musepa: The door to my office is open, it’s glass.
Mwenye: Your work history is that you worked with Mr Chipwende at ZDA?
Mwenye: How long?
Musepa: From November, 2010, up to the time he was appointed executive director for IDC.
Mwenye: And it’s Mr Chipwende who brought you to the IDC correct?
Mwenye: And you owe your job at IDC to Mr Chipwende, you didn’t apply; he took you there?
Musepa: I don’t owe. He exposed me.
Mwenye: One of the discussions you had after Mr Siame’s departure from IDC was in September, 2017, when a Ms. Claire Banda died and you called him to inform him of the death and the burial?
Mwenye: During that phone call, you did something very noble. You apologized for whatever wrong you played in his dismissal. Do you remember that?
Mwenye: Do you know whether the event of October 14, 2016, whether they are irrelevant to the termination because they are not part of the particulars?
Linyama: You were asked a question in relation with the interaction with Mr Siame. You said: ‘I avoided him’ How did you avoid him?
Musepa: I would use my juniors to take work to his office for signing. I changed the entrance and exit to one that I did not see Mr Siame’s office.
Case was adjourned to a later date for continuation of cross examination.
About Zondiwe Mbewe
Zondiwe is a vibrant young Zambian journalist who has interest in writing political and current affairs on issues which affect every Zambians. She draws inspiration from journalists who stand for what is right and are not afraid to tell and show the truth to the people.
Email: zondiwe [at] diggers [dot] news
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