Industrial Relations Court (IRC) in Blantyre on Friday granted temporary relief to two employees of Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) who had their contracts nullified by office of the Ombudsman.
IRC chairperson Austin Msowoya granted the order, temporarily stopping Macra’s decision to terminate contracts of Daniel Datchi and Kumbukani Lisilira.
The court also ordered Macra to send the two on leave for two months and on half pay, and that the hearing of their matter be expedited and should be set out for hearing within 60 days from the date of the order.
Msowoya ordered the matter should come before his court on August 2 2021, at 9 am.
The two, represented by lawyer Luciano Mickeus, earlier applied for the temporary relief and they presented supporting documents in support of their application, which included the report of the ex-Ombudsman Martha Chizuma.
Former Macra director general Godfrey Itaye, who also had his contract nullified, also sought the court’s intervention. The High Court granted Itaye leave for judicial review, but refused to stay the Ombudsman’s findings.
Some 16 employment contracts at Macra were nullified for various reasons following an investigation by the Office of the Ombudsman into how Itaye and others were recruited by Macra.
For all nullified contracts at the parastatal, Chizuma had ordered that costs emerging from those that are injured by the directives should be settled personally by those who were responsible for their recruitment, including in some instances, former president Peter Mutharika, former Secretary to the President and Cabinet Lloyd Muhara and the Macra board.
The Ombudsman had also ordered the new Macra board to advertise all the nullified contracts within a specific period.