Malawi Vice-President Khumbo Kachali is battling with his former employee who last year sued him for non-payment of terminal benefits.
According to details on case number 443 of 2011 at the Industrial Relations Court (IRC), the ex-employee, Pangano Yezara, says he worked as Kachaliâ€™s garden boy since September 2009, but was only paid K16 500 when the Vice-President dismissed him.
Yezara claims he was fired because Kachali faulted him for wrongly hiring labourers to do manual work in his garden, saying he was not paid notice pay, long-service and overtime dues after being fired.
â€œI was sent to find some labourers to work in the garden. Thatâ€™s the reason I was fired, that I was wrong to bring the temporary garden boy to cut grass with a lawn mower.
â€œParticulars of relief sought: notice pay, long service and overtime [pay],â€ reads Yezaraâ€™s statement of claim in part. It does not specify the amount of claim.
In his statement of challenge against the claim, Kachali said Yezaraâ€”who was employed under his KK Propertiesâ€”was fired because [Kachali] had lost a lot of money due to the employeeâ€™s misconduct.
â€œThe applicant was dismissed on the grounds of mistrust between him and the employer which in the long run cost the employer a lot of money because of his [Yezaraâ€™s] misconduct.
â€œDespite the dismissal, the applicant was given his dues and leave grant for the whole period he has worked with KK Properties through the district labour office,â€ reads Kachaliâ€™s statement of reply on the case.
The Veep further argues that dismissal of an employee does not grant payment of terminal benefits, but leave grant which he says Yezara got.
In September 2012, the IRC failed to hear the case because Kachali and Yezara did not turn up for pre-hearing.
Meanwhile, the court has dismissed the case because of the failure by both parties to appear for hearing, saying Yezara is, however, at liberty to restore the matter through a motion.
Kachaliâ€™s spokesperson Kondwani Munthali said the Veep did not receive notice to appear before the court; hence, his failure to turn up for pre-hearing.
Yezara could not be reached on his phone.