A former employee of Kayelekera Uranium Mine in Karonga says he sees no hope in his fight to be compensated after getting involved in an accident that left him incapacitated.
The accident, that happened within the mine premises on October 7 2009, claimed one life and left Harold Jambo with hip and head fractures, a broken collar bone, chopped finger and without five teeth.
His workmate in the processing plant, Masuzgo Mumba, was left with a broken leg and had to undergo ball grafting at Beit Cure International Hospital in Blantyre.
“I returned to work with instructions from the medical personnel that handled my case that I should no longer be subjected to heavy assignments I was previously involved in,” said Jambo, adding:
“But up to July 2011 my bosses subjected me to what the medical personnel recommended against and when I complained they said I was lazy. I was transferred to the canteen later in the year.”
As per communication from Paladin Africa Limited, dated November 4 2011, Jambo was transferred to camp site services (the kitchen) effective November 6 2011.
He was informed of changes in job status from process operator to waiter through a letter signed by acting General Manager Deon Hahn on November 24, 2012.
“Unfortunately, contrary to advice from the medical personnel, I was subjected to standing for more than two hours. When I complained and reminded them about the medical personnel’s recommendation my bosses labelled me lazy,” he said.
“On advice from my lawyer, I accepted constructive dismissal and I conducted exit interviews on January 6 2012. My artificial hip requires replacement every four years but I have no capacity to have it replaced.”
Meanwhile, a February 11, 2011 report prepared after an assessment of Jambo’s condition by Beit Cure International Hospital sanctioned by the Ministry of Labour and seen by Malawi News, indicates that Jambo was bound to suffer permanent incapacity. His degree of incapacity was assessed to be 35 per cent.
The Ministry of Labour sanctioned the assessment as claimant of compensation on behalf of the victim as per the Workers’ Compensation Act.
Jambo commissioned litigation against Paladin claiming compensation for the accident and constructive dismissal but nothing has moved.
His lawyer Christone Ghambi of CHRAM Associates confirmed that the cases have dragged. He said the cases are tricky as Paladin is pushing the accident compensation to the owners of the minibus contracted to provide transport services at the time of the accident.
Paladin Energy Limited’s General Manager for International Affairs Greg Walker said he could not comment on matters that are in court. – by Karen Msiska