After taxpayers coughed about K124 million as compensation to 55 former Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) employees for unfair dismissal, the High Court in Blantyre has ordered the authority to further pay 109 others whose names missed on the initial list.
High Court judge Kenyatta Nyirenda ordered the public revenue collector to compensate the 109 ex-employees following their appeal to have their names included on a list of Notice of Appeal that had only 55 names.
The matter started in July, 2010 when MRA retrenched about 215 employees but 167 took the body to court for unfair dismissal after MRA re-engaged their former workmates.
The aggrieved former employees argued they were dismissed from employment without being consulted, a development they reasoned contravened Section 57 of the Employment Act.
And in October 2014, the Industrial Relations Court (IRC) in Blantyre agreed with them and ordered MRA to pay them about K500 million which they were unsatisfied with and appealed the matter to the High Court.
However, during the appeal only 55 names were on the list and upon the case succeeding and the court ordering a K800 million compensation, the missing 109 names applied to have the list amended so that their names are included.
“The court agreed with us by ordering to amend the list so that the 109 people… are also paid the compensation uniformly,” explained Shepher Mumba, lawyer for the ex-employees.
In his ruling dated January 22, 2018, Nyirenda argued that although there were 55 appellants listed on the Notice of Appeal, all the applicants in the consolidated matter were similarly aggrieved with the decision of the lower court.
The judge said in the circumstances, he was satisfied that it was just and proper to have the Notice of Appeal amended and, accordingly, granted the application to the 109.
When contacted yesterday for comment, MRA deputy director of corporate affairs Steve Kapoloma requested for a written questionnaire which he had not responded to as we went to press. n