Soko not entitled to any of his claims, RTSA tells court

THE Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) has submitted to the Lusaka High Court that its former chief executive officer, Zindaba Soko, is not entitled to any of the claims being sought in a matter in which he is demanding damages for breach of contract, mental stress and payment of full gratuity.

RTSA stated that it would show at trial that it’s Board on September 11, last year decided not to renew Soko’s contract of employment which expired on January 3, 2019, contrary to his claims that his contract of employment was terminated.

In this matter, Soko has sued RTSA in the Lusaka High Court demanding damages for mental stress and breach of contract.

He is further seeking, among other claims, three months salary in lieu of notice, payment of full gratuity pursuant clause 19.1.2 of the contract and payment of monthly salaries from the date of termination, until full gratuity is paid to him.

Soko stated in his statement of claim that by letter dated September 11, 2019, RTSA purported to terminate his employment effective September 12, 2019 and he was also paid gratuity on a pro-rated basis contrary to clause 19.1.2 of the contract.

“Prior to delivery of the letter dated September 11, 2019, RTSA without notifying him withdraw his personal driver, who was at the material time assigned to collect his children from school, leaving the children stranded at school until late in the evening when school authorities notified him, occasioning mental anguish and stress on him and his minor children,” statement of claim.

Soko lamented that in the premises, he had suffered loss and damage.

But in its defence, RTSA stated that the non-renewal of Soko’s contract was done in accordance with his terms and conditions of employment.

It stated that it would aver at trial that on July 9, 2019 after informing the Minister of Transport and Communication, Soko went on leave to pave way for investigations into the alleged money laundering activities involving him.

“Defendant shall aver at trial that on September 11, 2019, the defendant’s Board decided not to renewal the Plaintiff’s contract of employment which expired on January 3, 2019 contrary to the claims by the Plaintiff that his contract of employment was terminated. The non-renewal of the Contract was done in accordance with the Plaintiff’s terms and conditions of employment for the Plaintiff,” read the defence.

RTSA stated that Soko was paid a prorated gratuity for the period between January 3, 2019 and September 11, 2019.

It added that Soko was not entitled to any of the claims in his Statement of Claim.

“The defendant denies each and every allegations of the plaintiff’s Statement of Claim as if the same were set out and traversed seriatim,” read RTSA’s defence.

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