BULAWAYO – The High Court here has set aside the decision by the Health Services Board to decline to determine the appeal by former Mpilo Central Hospital operations director Regina Duduza Moyo against the penalty imposed on her by the disciplinary authority.
This was after the authority found her guilty of six out of 11 counts of alleged acts of misconduct, a ruling that forced her to indicate her intention to appeal to the Health Services Board (HSB).
Moyo and finance director Charles Govo were suspended last year without pay after an audit uncovered irregularities that allegedly prejudiced the hospital of millions of dollars.
The two were suspended together with Lawrence Mantiziba who was the chief executive officer but has since left the hospital after his contract expired.
According to her founding affidavit, Moyo, through her lawyers, recorded an appeal to the Health Services Board against the determination and penalty imposed by the Disciplinary Authority.
However, the HSB turned down her appeal but advised her to appeal to the Labour Court as provided for in Section 52 of the Health Services Regulations.
As a result, Moyo said she was forced to seek relief at the High Court.
“I am advised by my legal practitioners of record, which advice I accept to be true and correct, that the respondents’ decision to decline to determine my appeal in terms of Section 51 (2) of the Health Services Regulations is unlawful in that it constitutes an administrative decision which is against the clear provisions of Section 51,” Moyo said.
She added: “The respondent’s decision in casu declining to hear my appeal affects my rights, interests or legitimate expectations in seeking and being afforded justice in the determination of my appeal against the determination and penalty imposed by the disciplinary committee.”
Ruling on the matter Judge Nicholas Mathonsi said the decision by the HSB was null and void.
“The decision of the respondent declining to determine the applicant’s appeal…. be and is hereby declined to be without basis at law and is accordingly set aside,” ruled justice Mathonsi.
Justice Mathonsi further directed the HSB to determine applicant’s appeal within seven days of the service of the order, failure which the applicant is granted leave to file her appeal directly to the Labour Court.