Printing media giant BP&P said yesterday it fired its weekly Malawi News Editor Limbani Moya after being advised by the country’s top most private hospital Mwaiwathu, which declared him unfit to continue working as a journalist, lawyer for BP&P Innocent Kalua confirmed to Nyasa Times.
“Around the year 2012, the applicant, Mr. Limbani Moya was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease …the ailment was so serious that he had been rendered unfit to report for work for a continous period of more than nine months during which period he had been in and out of hospital,” Kalua said in a court document filed as part of defense in a case in which Moya is suing the media house for unfair dismissal.
He added that BP&P terminated Moya’s employment at a time when the company was undergoing restructuring aimed at reducing payroll costs due to harsh economic conditions. Editor for Daily Times Damiel Nyirenda was also retrenched along other senior managers.
Kalua , in a court document titled Respondent ’statement of reply to the Industrial Relations Court of Malawi matter number 449 of 2014 says BP&P has in its possession a letter from Mwaiwathu Private Hospital on Mr Limbani Moya’s health status including invoices from a South African Hospital Carstenhof Private Clinic.
The ex-editor who is still unemployed, is expected to travel to India to have a kidney transplant after well-wishers through a task force (Friends of Limbani) successfully raised about K12 million tom enable him access expert treatment.
Malawi Vice President Saulos Chilima last Friday teed off at a charity golf function at Blantyre Sports Club to help raise funds for Moya whose sister donated her kidney in an effort to save his life.
Moya sued BP&P for unfair dismissal, a move which angered BP&P Chief executive Leonard Chikadya who cancelled a K100 000 donation towards the Limbani Moya fundraising efforts.
Chikadya also banned the media house from giving any coverage to the efforts including the Vice President’s charity golf assignment. All coverage has been done by BP&P competitor Nation Publications and numerous radio stations.
“You may wish to know that Mr. Moya during his illness, BP&P advanced him up to K7.8million for his medical treatment. He only paid back about K3.7 million. He owes BP&P K4.1 million which now BP&P is claiming back from Mr. Moya,” Kalua said in a statement which he signed and seen by Nyasa Times.
Mwaiwathu private hospital Chief Executive and Director Prof. Jack Wirima refused to comment saying they do not discuss patient’s issues in the media before cutting the phone.
When contacted for comment Moya said he is focused on his health and does not wish to comment on matters that are in court.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :