Malawi government will abide by the court order to pay former director general of Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), Bright Malopa, K62 million (about $156 000) for unfair dismissal by former president Joyce Banda..
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 Banda reign.
Industrial Relations Court (IRC) on November 29 2013 awarded Malopa K62.5 million compensation.
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 the then Minister of Information and Civic education Brown Mpinganjira argued it was not Banda who fired Malopa but “ former President (Bingu) who removed him from MBC and also appointed the current Director General Dr Benson Tembo.”
But it was 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 were 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”.
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.