Malopa challenges govt on K62m pay as court dismisses MBC

Former director general of Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), Bright Malopa, has challenged that government will have to abide by the court order to pay him K62million (about $156 000) for unfair dismissal, saying even at international court he will still get justice.

Malopa will smile all the way to the bank as he becomes yet another public officer to be compensated with millions of Kwacha from taxpayers in Malawi for unfair dismissal under the Joyce Band reign.

Industrial Relations Court (IRC) on November 29 2013 awarded Malopa K62.5 million compensation.

Malopa: May be they will say I was fired by TB Joshua
Malopa: May be they will say I was fired by TB Joshua

The court gave MBC 14 days to comply with the order but failed to comply and Malopa through his lawyer obtained a garnishee order where MBC accounts, including the salaries account, were reportedly frozen.

MBC lodged an appeal over the IRC ruling to the High Court after Minister of Information and Civic education who is also government spokesman Brown Mpinganjira argued it was not President Banda who fired Malopa.

“I want to make it clear that President Joyce Banda did not fire Malopa. It was the former President (Bingu) who removed him from MBC and also appointed the current Director General Dr Benson Tembo,” Mpinganjira said.

But it was President Banda who announced ‘immediate changes’ in April, 2012, just a few days after Bingu’s death where among others Malopa, minister of Information Patricia Kaliati and Inspector General of Police Peter Mukhitho had been sacked.

Mpinganjira claimed Bingu died just before making an announcement of the firing of Malopa and appointment of Tembo.

Malopa laughed off Mpinganjira’s remarks wondering whether it was possible for “Bingu to rise from the dead, fire him and then died again”.

Meanwhile, High Court assistant registrar Simeon Mdeza said has thrown out the appeal by MBC for “an abuse of the court process.”

Malopa, who was replaced by veteran broadcaster Benson Tembo also reportedly “under political pressure” that is likely to see him booted, said he wonders what the Banda government will say this time.

“May be they will say I was fired by TB Joshua, but even if they take the matter to The Hague, nothing will change because at the end of the day, I was fired by third parties who were alien to my contract,” Malopa is quoted in the press.

When Banda ascended to the presidency in line with the constitutional order following the death of former president Bingu wa Mutharika in April 2012, she fired several functionaries that worked under her predecessor.

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.

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