Former Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) director general Charles Nsaliwa has been awarded K569 952 818 million as compensation for constructive dismissal from the institution.
In an assessment of costs by acting registrar of the Industrial Relations Court (IRC) Innocent Nebi dated August 11, the compensation follows an April 14 2020 ruling that was made after Nsaliwa sued Macra.
According to court documents, Nsaliwa was offered a three-year contract by Macra in December 2009 after emerging successful in interviews.
While the contract was renewed after the initial three years expired, in August 2014, government through the office of the Deputy Chief Secretary seconded Nsaliwa to the then Ministry of Information, Tourism and Culture as a technical adviser.
However, 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.
Read the court documents in part: “According to the secondment letter, the applicant [Nsaliwa] was to draw same salaries and benefits as stipulated in his contract with the respondent [Macra].
“He treated the move by his employer as constructive dismissal and commenced these proceedings claiming compensation. The court agreed with him.”
The court documents further indicate that despite Nsaliwa not taking up the position, Macra continued paying him his salary and benefits up until his contract ended.
In assessment of the costs, the IRC awarded Nsaliwa K42 060 000 million as compensation for immediate loss, K514 118 649.35 million as compensation for future loss and K13 774 169 million as severance allowance.
The IRC has also ordered Macra to sell Nsaliwa the vehicle he was using while he was at the institution as stipulated in his contract.
Further reads the determination: “That takes into account that the applicant would have worked beyond his contract and, therefore, not logical to award him another vehicle under future loss.”
Through his lawyers, Nsaliwa, who worked for MTL prior to joining Macra, wrote Macra’s lawyers on April 15 2020, demanding K665 965 063.32 in compensation.
In an earlier interview, Macra board chairperson the Reverend Alex Maulana said it was sad that the institution was losing such huge sums of money to compensation.
The compensation comes at a time analysts have faulted the culture of firing and hiring new managers in parastatals whenever there is a regime change in the country.
Analysts have argued that the right procedures must be followed when effecting such actions to avoid burdening taxpayers with hefty compensations to fired employees.