The Industrial Relations Court (IRC) has settled for K16 032 570.48 as compensation for unfair dismissal in 2014 of Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) former director general Charles Nsaliwa.
The K16 million is a reversal of an earlier assessment of costs when the IRC, through its acting registrar Innocent Nebi, on August 11 2020 awarded Nsaliwa K569 952 818 for the same.
But Macra obtained a court order to put aside execution of the court’s decision. The court on October 1 2020 set aside the order on the premise that it was made without the requisite quorum of the IRC.
According to the ruling dated October 20 2021 signed by IRC deputy chairperson Howard Pemba and two panellists Frank Chakanga and Getrude Masambo, the matter came for re-hearing on April 20 2021.
The fresh ruling, among others, faults Nsaliwa for including K41 731 900.50 leave pay as part of the K152 077 278.26 benefits he was supposed to get from August 28 2014 to December 8 2015.
Reads the judgement: Thus, from the total sum of K152 077 278.26 that the applicant claims in this period, we deduct K41 731 900.50 to get K110 345 377. 76. This is what the applicant would have benefited if it were not for the constructive dismissal. “
“However, looking at the evidence adduced and tendered before this court, it is crystal clear that the applicant was not deprived of or did not suffer loss of most of these benefits within the period in question.”
The court found that Macra continued paying Nsaliwa his monthly salary, school fees for his children, club membership and also allowed him use of his official vehicle until his contract expired on December 8 2015.
Court documents show that Nsaliwa was offered a three-year contract by Macra in December 2009. His contract was renewed after the initial three years expired and in August 2014, government through the Office of the President and Cabinet seconded Nsaliwa to the then Ministry of Information, Tourism and Culture as a technical adviser.
But Nsaliwa did not take up the post on the basis that he did not apply for it, a decision he also communicated to government upon the appointment.
Through his lawyers, Nsaliwa on April 15 2020 claimed K665 965 063.32 in compensation from Macra.