The Ombudsman Tujilane Chizumila has rebuked Admarc management for unfairly treating an employee and for failing to honour invitations from the Ombudsman.
Chizumila made the reproof last week when she gave her determination in a case in which Watford Mphande was suing the corporation for unfair dismissal.
The Office of the Ombudsman heard that Mphande, who was working as a clerk at Nkhata Bay Marketing Area, got fired on allegations that he was connected to the loss of property.
He was eventually arrested alongside other employees although he was not directly implicated in the theft.
In July 1986, he was acquitted by the Mzuzu Magistrate’s Court after spending 15 months in police custody.
But Admarc went ahead to dismiss him despite his filing of his acquittal with Human Resource Management Office of the corporation.
This forced Mphande to seek the intervention of the Office of the Ombudsman.
And in her determination, Chizumila rebuked Admarc for unfairly treating the employee by denying him the right to be heard.
Chizumila said where an employee has been acquitted as in the matter at hand, disciplinary proceedings may be brought arising out of his or her conduct.
“The complainant in the present matter had served for 19 years. It would have been reasonable for the respondent to ensure that the complainant had been heard before imposing such a severe penalty.
“Therefore, I am convinced without doubt that the actions of the respondent amounted to unfair dismissal,” said the Ombudsman.
Chizumila further stated that the decision by the corporation to dismiss Mphande without giving him an opportunity to be heard amounted to violation of article 23 (1) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
“Hence, I would regard the rectification or remedy of justice through payment of damages, which should be assessed by the Registrar of the High Court. Finally, I would like to reprimand the respondent for causing the delay due to their unwillingness to respond to our letters, thereby delaying the matter for 10 years. This is maladministration,” she said.