The Industrial Relations Court (IRC) has ordered the government of Malawi to pay Matlida Katopola, former Clerk of Malawi National Assembly, ‘huge amounts of money’ as compensation after she was constructively dismissed by Parliament Service Commission (PSC) from her position with an order from the then head of state President Joyce Banda who claimed was not comfortable to work with her.
Katopola reacted by dragging the Government to Court in 2012 demanding K500 million for breach of laws and constructively dismissal though Government denied firing her saying she was still getting monthly salary as before.
According to deputy IRC chairperson, Chimwemwe Kamowa, evidence sourced showed the applicant was constructively and unfairly dismissed therefore has to be awarded severance pay, terminal benefits and other benefits to be assessed on a date to be fixed later.
Kamowa noted that Section 57 of the Employment Act, as read with Sections 31 and 43(b) of the Constitution, requires that employment can only be terminated for good reasons and an employee must be heard before terminated of contract which was not the case with Katopola.
The magistrate also noted that Katopola could have been removed or suspended upon recommendation from PSC for disability, bankruptcy, neglect of duty or misconduct.
Total amount to be paid to the former Malawi Parliament Clerk is yet to be revealed by the Court.