The Office of President and Cabinet (OPC) has through lawyer Thabo Chakakaka Nyirenda filed an application at the Industrial Relations Court (IRC) which ordered government to pay a principal secretary (PS) K754 million after he sued and alleged political victimisation’ to set aside the contempt proceedings as it seeks out of court settlement.
The court, by consent order between Christopher Makileni and the Attorney General (AG), entered on August 2020, has ordered government to pay him K754 835 824.14 in pension, loss of use of motor vehicle, fuel and salary before tax.
Attorney General Dr Chikosa Silungwe signed the agreement of the pay-out but said the negotiations over the settlement was already completed when he came into office.
According to Silungwe, negotiations with relevant stakeholders started in 2018 and were already completed before he took office.
He said government wants to “discuss out of court.”
Makileni, according to the court order, cut home over K216 million in pension, over K205 million for loss of use of motor vehicle, over K269 million for salary before tax and K63 million for fuel.
But lawyer Chakaka Nyirenda confirmed that OPC has instructed him to challenge both the consent order and the contempt of court proceedings.
Makileni’s lawyer Paul Maulidi confirmed the process of negotiating the settlement.
“The Attorney General and OPC are now suggesting new terms and other ways of solving the matter including redeployment of my client. So, we will see what we can settle for,” he said.
Maulidi said there was nothing wrong with the K750 million jackpot.
According to Maulidi, almost immediately the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) came into power with Peter Mutharika as President, government ordered Makileni to stop working.
The lawyer disclosed that his client was accused of being a sympathiser of Joyce Banda’s People’s Party (PP).
Maulidi said his client took the matter to court in 2015, but later they agreed to an out-of-court settlement which resulted in the consent order.
OPC is challenging the settlement, arguing that that contempt of court proceedings are “irregular”.
The court has since adjourned the matter which is being presided by the IRC vice-chairperson Kondwani Banda to October 28 this year.
Janet Banda, Deputy Chief Secretary for President and Cabinet, confirmed government had asked the Attorney General to withdraw the settlement.
Attorney General recently warned that government is losing billions to payments for contractual disputes.
Just within two years, government had lost a whooping K29 billion in illegal dismissals, poorly drafted contracts, transfers and redeployment of heads of ministries, departments and agencies, a leaked assessment by the Attorney General revealed.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :