Kasambara accuses Malawi media for ‘exaggerating’ govt pay outs

Malawi’s Justice Minister Ralph Kasambara on Saturday blamed the country’s media for peddling lies on reports of compensations government is paying out to individuals and organisations in out of court settlement.

The media has been awash with reports of government paying individual with millions of Kwacha from taxpayers in Malawi.

Among other public officers who have been compensated millions by the current administration for unfair dismal after power change include former Clerk of Parliament Matilda Katopola, former Admarc boss Charles Matabwa, former Anti-Corruption Bureau chief Alex Nampota.

Recently, the courts also awarded former director general of Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), Bright Malopa, with about K40 million (about $111 111) compensation for unfair dismissal in a default judgement.

Kasambara: Media should be accurate
Kasambara: Media should be accurate

During the presidential news conference at Sanjika Palace in Malawi’s commercial city, Blantyre after President Joyce Banda returned from Equatorial Guinea where she went to attend the 3rd Africa-South America Summit, a journalist asked the Malawi leader why the administration is paying out huge sums on cases that government can challenge to dismiss or reduce the payout amount.

The President pushed the question to Justice Minister Kasambara and repeated it to him.

But Kasambara blamed the media for not being accurate in their reporting, arguing that most of the figures put out are “exaggerated.”

He challenged the journalists to produce evidence of the payouts like cheque number. The President conspicuously looked puzzled and unconvinced.

But President Banda masterfully handled it by adding s: “Achimwene your question is valid and deserves answers, ndiye monga momwe akuuzirani a minister of justice, feel free to consult his office/ministry and they will give you answers.”

Also smiling all the way to court is Blantyre principal resident magistrate Mzonde Mvula  after  he agreed with government  on an out-of-court settlement in a case where Mvula personally sued the Chief Justice and the Attorney General (AG) for contempt of court.

Mvula filed for contempt of court charges against the AG, the Chief Justice and Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal and the High Court of Malawi acting registrar Mike Tembo in their personal capacities for failing to reinstate and pay him his salary in arrears.

The interdicted magistrate expected reinstatement after the High Court in Blantyre last May acquitted him and two others in a corruption case the trio was answering.

Following their failure to reinstate him within 21 days by December 25 last year, as was ordered by the Industrial Relations Court (IRC), Mvula represented by lawyer Lusungu Gondwe of Ralph and Arnords, sued the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), which is chaired by the Chief Justice.

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