Private practice lawyer David Bandawe is demanding K88.1 million (about $137 401) compensation from his former employers, Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), for alleged violation of his constitutional right, unfair dismissal and breach of contract.
Bandawe, a former director responsible for legal and prosecution at the bureau, says he wants the compensation paid to him within three months.
In his letter of claim, the lawyer argues that the graft-busting body acted illegally by failing to renew his contract at its expiry in June 2015 having worked since July 2009.
According to Bandawe, the money caters for 27 months’ salary (K27 million), 25 percent gratuity on 36 months’ salary (K9 million), use of official vehicle for 27 months (K13 810 500), one night security guard (K2 160 000) and K1 080 000 which is meant for mobile phone airtime.
The claims are contained in a memo The Nation has seen dated February 18 2016 addressed to ACB director general Lucas Kondowe with copies to deputy director general Reyneck Matemba and a Mr K Chilongo, who is the bureau’s senior human resource management officer.
ACB allegedly rejected to renew Bandawe’s fixed contract on the basis that he had reached the “mandatory retirement age of 55” which is in accordance with Article 01.06.1(a) of the bureau’s existing terms and conditions of service.
But Bandawe claims that after reviewing the letter dated June 23 2015 written to him by the bureau in which it declined to renew his contract, he feels the decision violated his rights as contained in the country’s Constitution, the Public Service Act and the Employment Act as read together with the “relevant employment court decisions”.
In an interview on Wednesday, Bandawe said he served the letter on ACB director general on April 5, 2016 and was awaiting a response.
Matemba confirmed that the office received the claim for compensation memo on Tuesday afternoon but they were yet to analyse and act upon it as they were (him and Kondowe) out of office.
Among his arguments, Bandawe says the renewal clause in his employment offer letter (‘the contract’) and the subsequent letter of renewal dated June 3 2013 as read together with the letter of promotion dated December 9 2013 provides that “renewal of the contract will depend on satisfactory performance”.
He said: “This clause is a clear, unambiguous and unqualified representation and an agreement that gave me the expectation that my contract would be renewed if my performance was satisfactory.
“However, despite this clear representation and undertaking, the Director General maliciously, unreasonably and unlawfully refused to renew the contract through his letter dated 23rd June, 2015. It will be demonstrated in this memo that article 01.06.1(a) of the Bureau’s Conditions of service which was relied on by the Director General was, as at the material date, i.e., 19th June, 2015, illegal.”