Katopola still not reporting for duties


Embattled Clerk of Parliament, Mrs Matilda Katopola is yet to report for duties, almost three weeks after President Joyce Banda rejected recommendation by the Parliamentary Service Commission-PSC- to have her fired.

Speaker of Parliament who is also PSC chairperson Mr Henry Chimunthu Banda confirmed that there “has been no movement” except the letter she wrote his office to reconsider the charges laid against her.

Media reports indicated recently that Mrs. Katopola refused to resume duties asking the Industrial Relations Court to declare her as having been constructively dismissed and be compensated.

Katopola indicated in her response to the letter that the commission was required to clarify on a few things.

“I refer to your letter of July 17, 2012 advising me to resume my duties preferably within a week of receipt of your letter. I wish to sincerely thank you for the invitation although it is clear that your communication is outside the notice period as stipulated in my letter of July 4, 2012,

“You may however wish to note that there are outstanding issues which remain unclear to me and need your clarification,” read part of her letter.

On May 21, the PSC recommended that Katopola be fired but President Banda turned down the recommendation mid July on grounds that proper procedures were not followed in the process.

“There haven’t been any movement [on the issue at hand], there is nothing beyond what was written in the press and what everybody else already knows,” said Chimunthu-Banda in an interview.

The Speaker said Mrs Katopola is requesting that his [PSC chairmanship] office put into consideration the charges she currently answering.

“[Katopola] she has gone public to say she has written my office on her charges. So beyond that there is nothing else,” said the Speaker while confirming that Katopola hasn’t yet reported for duties.

Mrs Katopola is current facing the court where she is answering two charges of abuse of office and failure to disclose interest in awarding of a contract. She has since pleaded not guilty.

The charge of abuse of office carries a maximum of three years imprisonment while the second one which is failure to disclose interest in awarding a contract attracts a 12 year prison sentence.

If Mrs Katopola will be fired or deemed to have been constructively dismissed government will coughed about K1 billion in compensation.

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