DC’s judicial review Sept 15 in High Court as Judge rejects govt ‘s IRC choice

The judicial review over  the demotions of district commissioners (DCs) will commence in the High Court on September 15, Judge Sylvester Kalembera  said after he  threw out government’s application to take the case to the Industrial Relations Court (IRC).

Kalembera ruled that the High Court has the jurisdiction over the matter.

“I am satisfied that this matter is properly before this court as opposed to the IRC. The issues for which the determination of the court is being sought are public law matters and not for private law thereby amenable to judicial review,” ruled Kalembera.

Some of the District Commissioers

Some of the District Commissioers

The DCs, James Manyetera ( Chiradzulu), Memory Kaleso Monteiro (Neno), Richard Chavula Kaweta (Machinga), Rosemary Chinseu Moyo (Karonga), Funnie Msimuko (Dowa) and Malango Botomani (Ntchisi) were promoted to either grade E/P3 or grade D/P2 during the People’s Party (PP) administration.

However, when the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) took over power, the promotions were reversed as government said that the posts do not exist, arguing there was no established warrant and that there were no funds to service them.

The DCs obtained an injunction, restraining government from reversing their promotions.

However, government applied for a judicial review, saying that the injunction was not regularly obtained and also that the matter was a labour dispute which can only be adjudicated by the IRC as the court of first instance, not the High Court.

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