The case involving Matilda Katopola and the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) over her employment is not making progress following the Clerk of Parliamentâ€™s change of lawyers.
At first, lawyer Yambani Mulemba represented Katopola but later, she excused him and another lawyer Mercy Mulele took over the case. But Mulele also excused herself and the case is now being handled by Kalekeni Kaphale.
One of the lawyers representing PSC, Steve Kayuni, confirmed the change of lawyers and that Kaphale is now handling the case.
Kayuni said the development has affected progress of the case.
Said Kayuni: â€œThe case is in the Industrial Relations Court and Kaphale is the new lawyer. He is the one who can tell you more. We are on the receiving end. As of now, seriously, nothing is happening because since the lawyers changed, we have not seen any movement.â€
A source said the IRC has not yet set a date for the case.
Kaphale did not answer our call.
Katopola confirmed the change of lawyers, but refused to give further details.
In the case, Katopola wants the IRC in Lilongwe to declare that the PSC constructively dismissed her and should compensate her accordingly.
Our calculations show that Katopola could get up to K900 million in compensation in salaries, benefits and retirement package calculated up to 2030 when she will have retired.
This figure, however, does not appear on her statement of claim, neither is there any other sum.
But the PSC, through the Attorney General, entered defence mid August this year in which it rejected Katopolaâ€™s claim of constructive dismissal, unfair dismissal and unfair labour practices or any breaches of labour laws or the Constitution.
The PSC also counterclaimed that the applicant has absconded her duties for no good reason by failing to report for work as advised by the respondent after it lifted her suspension.
In May this year, without giving reasons, the PSC recommended to President Joyce Banda that Katopola be removed from office. It also sent her on compulsory leave pending the Presidentâ€™s decision.
But in mid July, Banda refused to sack Katopola, saying the PSC did not follow procedures in recommending her removal.
The two parties sat on September 2012 for trial to reach a consensus on the caseâ€™s procedures.