MACRA stops paying salaries to sacked officials in defiance of court order

Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority Board led by Dr Stanley Chakhumbira Khaila directed the Management to stop paying salaries of all staff that were reinstated at half pay by the Industrial Relations Court.

Despite clear warning from the Industrial court that doing so would be an act of contempt, the Board with advice from Thokozani Chimbe, Director of Legal and Consumer Services at MACRA and Isaac Songea, the Legal and Human Resource committee, Chair of the MACRA Board defied the courts.

Macra Board Chair Dr Khaila

The Board is said to base their stand on a recent ruling from the Supreme court ruling which only stopped the Industrial Relations Court proceedings. However in a twist of the saga, the High Court and Supreme Court have weighed heavily behind the Industrial Relations Courts and subsequently refused to release all the vehicles that were ordered to be parked at the court premises citing that the ruling did not set aside the order of the IRC but only stopped proceedings in the court below.

It is rather baffling that the MACRA Board which President Chakwera pardoned after their lavish trip to Dubai courted controversy and criticism from Malawians seems not to learn from their mistakes but continue with impunity.

One wonders whether the Board is poised to sink President Chakwera who is said to have clearly expressed his disgust for the lack of dignity by the Board which instead of providing clear policy direction for institution, its busy meddling in the everyday running of the institution.

MACRA currently has no stable leadership and management after a number of high profile staff were dismissed by the former Ombudsman Martha Chizuma, now Anti-Corruption Bureau Director General.

The Board recently conducted interviews to fill the vacant position of Director General which pitied Dr Henry Silika, Dr Andrew Kumbatira, Dr Jonathan Pinifolo, Dr Lester Tandwe and the Mr Daudi Suleman.

MCP officials in government are said to favour Mr Daudi Suleman as a reward for his superb performance during the presidential election results nullification case. Currently, he is leading Kokoliko Holdings, a group of companies besides being Deputy Director ICT at State House.

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