By Yeukai Karengezeka
Chitungwiza Municipality has resolved to pay its former director of works Engineer Maxwell Karenyi $21 600 cash in lieu for a car he should have bought at book value as part of service entitlements after he took the cash-strapped local authority to court.
Eng Karenyi, who worked at the municipality for three years, was entitled to purchasing his contract vehicle, a Madza BT50, but during his tenure, he used a donated Toyota Hilux.
The development follows a resolution recently passed by council to fulfil his managerial employee’s conditions of service entitlements.
During that council meeting, town clerk Dr George Makunde said council made an agreement to settle the matter out of court and to pay Eng Karenyi $21 600.
“The meeting with Eng Karenyi resolved to centre the negotiations on the Toyota Hilux, which is the vehicle that was allocated to him when he joined council.
“The car was taken for evaluation and it was valued at $24 000 as book value, so (Eng) Karenyi would purchase the vehicle at 10 percent of the book value, which is $2 400 and we pay him $21 600,” he said.
“(Eng) Karenyi claimed that if this issue was to be resolved in court, he would sue for the BT50, which would cost council about $75 000.
“The issue of vehicle and terminal benefits on reduced salary and gadgets before the courts will be withdrawn, leaving the courts handling other issues which Eng Karenyi had raised,” he said.
In an interview, Eng Karenyi said the agreement was not yet finalised.
“Yes, we made that kind of an agreement, but it is not yet valid as the council has not yet given me the deed of settlement,” he said.
The cash-strapped municipality is battling with labour suits and is paying $87 000 monthly to its former employees who won their labour cases against it.