Nico, judge ‘killig’ cancer patient with court order

A former employee of insurance company Nico Holdings Limited, Patrick Mlangali, who is suffering from life threatening cancer disease, is at risk of losing his life after missing two crucial treatment because of a court order, it has been reported.

Nico applied to the High Court for an order staying the execution of an Industrial Relations Court (IRC) judgement to compensate Mlangali for unfair dismissal in May this year.

National Gazette( quoting a  court file for the case, civil appeal number 10 of 2011, reports that Justice Joseph Manyungwa heard an inter-parties hearing on the matter on May 18, 2011 but has not delivered his determination, a delay which is putting Mlangali’s life in danger.

Mlusu: Former chauffeur life in danger

The report says Mlangali , a former chauffeur to Nico Holdings Limited Managing Director Felix Mlusu, was expected to receive treatment for his skin cancer ailment (Kaposis Sarcoma) in Tanzania on three separate times, in August 2010, January 2011 and September 2011, but has failed because of the undelivered judgement.

“My whole life has changed. I have a wife and two children to look after and on top of that I have this disease. It’s not fair that one can be kept for seven months without knowing the truth. I had to pay for a court record for Nico to go ahead with their appeal but they seem not interested,” Mlangali is quoted saying .

Quoting “documents” National Gazette says  Mlangali’s doctor in Tanzania Dr Richard Lyimo of Ocean Road Cancer Institute (ORCI), recommended that his patient should receive treatment for his condition at the stated times after receiving the first treatment in July 2009.

Mlangalihad received treatment in Tanzania in July 2009, August 2009 and lastly in January 2010 before Nico Holdings retired him on medical grounds on January 31, 2010.

The recommendation to retire Mlangali did not come from his doctor in Tanzania but an ‘independent’ doctor in Malawi namely Mwaiwathu’s Medical Director Professor Jack Wirima, the report says.

Nico Holdings has shares in Mwaiwathu Private Hospital.

Dr Lyimo concluded in his medical report after treating Mlangali on January 27, 2010 that his patient was given a second dose of radiotherapy to the lower half  body a total of 12Gy.

“Following this treatment more improvement will be anticipated. Mr Patrick (Mlangali) is physically fit to continue with his duties. Any position change in favour of this will accelerate the healing process,” reads the report in part.

According to the report, when Mlangali took up the matter of his forced retirement with labour officials, Nico justified their position to retire Mlangali on medical grounds although his own doctor treating him had said he was physically fit to continue with his duties.

Mlangali had another 15 years to work when he was forced to retire on medical grounds. He started working for Nico in 1998 and had done 12 years when he was forced to retire, it was reported.

Quoting a  letter dated April 8, 2010 signed by Grace Nyambo on behalf of Nico Holdings Limited Finance Director Vizenge Kumwenda, Nico argues that they had to retire Mlangali on medical grounds because they could not find another position for him as recommended by his doctor.

Industrical Court Deputy Chairperson Jack Nriva ruled that Nico Holdings were liable for unfair dismissal and ordered them to pay compensation to Mlangali.

Nico Holdings through their lawyers Savjani & Company applied to the court for a motion to stay execution of judgement pending appeal in the High Court but this was dismissed by Nriva on May 3, 2011 after observing that Nico did not provide sufficient reasons why the execution of the judgement should be stayed.

Then Nico Holdings Limited applied to the High Court for a stay of the execution of the IRC judgment pending an appeal.

Although the court record from IRC, necessary for Nico’s appeal in the High Court was ready, Nico did not show interest to pay for it and instead it was Mlangali who paid a meagre K1,860 for the court record for the appeal to go ahead.

Lawyer Barnett Makwinja representing Mlangali wrote Savjani & Company on September 29, 2011 informing them that the court record was now ready and that they (Savjani) should now file the Memorandum of Appeal and subsequently serves the same together with the court record on him.

Mlangali, meanwhile, says he  is disappointed because the current  treatment  he is getting is radiotherapy , not available in Malawi.

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