–Kaphale says there was no contract
–Accuses govt of ‘unfair dismissal’ from bank CEO job
Former minister of Finance Friday Jumbe has written Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale claiming K584 million as compensation for ‘unfair dismissal’ from the yet-to-be-established Malawi Development Bank.
According to correspondence seen by The Nation, on April 10 this year, Joseph Kamkwasi, a private practice lawyer representing Jumbe, wrote Kaphale to claim the damages for unfair dismissal.
In the letter, Jumbe said he had already been paid K14 million for two and half months presumably for the post of chief executive officer (CEO) at the bank and was claiming K584 million in damages.
The letter further says Jumbe had been given a five-year contract to head the bank.
However, in an April 29 2015 letter, Kaphale sought clarification on the contract raised by Jumbe’s lawyer.
Reads Kaphale’s response in part: “Please, send me the so-called contract, further please also address whether the registrar of financial institutions [the governor of the Reserve Bank of Malawi] had vetted your client as a fit and proper person to manage the bank better as per Financial Services Act and the direct on fit and proper person.”
Kamkwasi, who refused to comment on the matter when called by The Nation, responded to Kaphale on April 9, saying: “It is the duty of the employer to follow through the provision of Section 27 of the Employment Act. It is unconscionable for the employer who has violated Section 27 of the Employment Act to run away from responsibility and contractual on the basis there is no written contract. It is the duty of the employer to follow the provision of the Financial Services Act and direct of fitness and proper person our client is yet to be advised.
“Our client knows he has a contract with Malawi Government. He was paid K11 710 360.46 for working for your client in the first two and half months.”
In an interview yesterday, Kaphale confirmed the correspondence, but shot down Jumbes’ claims, saying there was no written contract.
But when asked why Jumbe was being paid in the first place, Kaphale said the money was for some work that he did.
He said: “The money in question was for some job he did. I don’t even want to say consultations or meetings because it was nothing close to that. But he had travelled to Lilongwe to attend such pre-meetings, but nothing to the effect of a job.”
In his 2015/16 National Budget Statement delivered in Parliament on Friday, Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe said government has been consulting on the establishment of a development bank.