A driver from Mzimba in northern Malawi is suing his employer for K2.5 million (about $8 333) following injury while on duty in 2011.
The driver, Joseph Chipeta, then working for a local firm KK Properties associated with Vice-President Khumbo Kachali, has been confined to a wheelchair since last year and uses a tube to urinate.
Said Chipeta, 50, who comes from Kabinyu Village, T/A Mtwalo in Mzimba: â€œI feel that the company was not helping me throughout my suffering. Right now, two of my children have withdrawn from school because of fees.â€
Manager of the company, Brown Kachali, brother to the Vice-President, on Tuesday said he is aware of the issue, but had no comment.
â€œAll I can say is that we have no comment in the meantime. We can only refer you to our lawyers,â€ said Brown.
The VPâ€™s press officer Kondwani Munthali said KK Properties is a limited liability company and that the Vice-President is not involved in its management.
Lawyer for the company, Victor Gondwe, said he is handling the matter. He said there was initial feeling to discuss it, but that it will depend upon the direction the other side takes.
Chipetaâ€™s lawyer, Mustafa Amidu, said the issue is in court as the company is refusing to pay the K2.5 million.
â€œThe law says that in an injury, one gets K1.080 million. But Chipeta is completely incapacitated and needs more. In fact, the money that is being sought is far lower than reality,â€ said Amidu.
He said since the company refused to pay, he has filed papers in court and that once the court certifies the matter, the case will commence.
Chipeta joined KK Properties in 2006 as a driver. On September 6 2011, he got injured while trying to offload tobacco in Lilongwe.
Said Chipeta: â€œI took tobacco bales from Premium Tama in Mzuzu to their warehouse in Kanengo, Lilongwe. When it was time to offload the bales, I untied the â€˜lonaâ€™ [tarpaulin] and the net, and in the process, bales of tobacco fell and buried me.â€
He recalled that a cleaner saw the incident and informed the people at the warehouse who came to his rescue.