The Industrial Relations Court (IRC) has dismissed a claim of K569 867 389.54 by former minister of Finance Friday Jumbe as compensation for unfair dismissal from the yet-to-be-established Malawi Development Bank (MDB).
According to a court ruling that former IRC chairperson Dorothy de Gabrielle made on December 9 2016 at Blantyre Registry, after looking at the evidence provided, the court concluded that there was a pre-contract engagement which was mutually terminated.
The court also found that all legitimate expectations were curtailed at that point.
“We also find that the applicant was chief executive officer (CEO) designate and would have been fully employed as chief executive officer on the incorporation of the MDB.
“The applicant’s claim before this court fails in its entirety and he is not entitled to a compensatory award for unfair dismissal, nor to salaries and benefits for a contractual period of five years,” reads part of the court ruling.
Meanwhile, the court has said any party aggrieved by the judgement is at liberty to appeal to the High Court on a question of law or jurisdiction within 30 days from December 9 2016, in accordance with Section 65 (2) of the Labour Relations Act.
On April 10 2015, Jumbe, through private practice lawyer Joseph Kamkwasi, wrote Attorney General (AG) Kalekeni Kaphale, claiming the money as damages for unfair dismissal for a five-year contract running from September 1 2014 to August 31 2019.
In the letter, Jumbe said he had already been paid K14 million for two and a half months presumably for the post of CEO at the bank and was claiming the K569 million in damages.
The letter further said the complainant had been given a five-year contract to head the bank.
However, in an April 29 2015 letter, Kaphale sought clarification on the contract raised by Jumbe’s lawyer.
But when asked in an earlier interview with The Nation why Jumbe was being paid in the first place, Kaphale said the money was for some work he did, but nothing to the effect of a job.
According to the ruling, on October 13 2015, the AG denied liability, stating that there was no contract between Jumbe and government (Ministry of Finance). n