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Court orders MEC to pay ex-employee MK69.4m for unfair dismissal

The Industrial Relations Court (IRC) in Blantyre has ordered the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) to pay its former employee, George Khake, the sum of MK69, 361, 001.16 for unfair dismissal.

The case dates back to 2017 when the electoral body fired Khaki, alongside the then Chief Elections Officer, Willie Kalonga, over allegations of financial abuse.

Khaki was working as the Director of Administration and Human Resources at the pollster at the time of his firing in May 2017.

Khaki, currently working as the Executive Director for Employers Consultative Association of Malawi (ECAM), challenged their dismissals at the IRC, claiming damages for unfair/constructive dismissal, unfair labour practices, and payment of unpaid dues.

George Khaki

The court delivered its judgment on liability of October 3, 2023, when it awarded him general damages for unfair labour practices, payment in lieu of accrued leave days, loss of use of motor vehicle from March 2016 to July 2017, and damages for breach of contract by not selling him the motor vehicle when he became entitled.

The court further ordered the payment of underpayment of salary from January 2017 to June 2017, salary from July 1-28, 2017, withheld gratuity, and unpaid pension dues at the rate of 14 percent of his salary.

After analyzing the pieces of evidence tendered before him, the IRC Deputy Chairperson, Mrs. E. Bodole, agreed with the applicant that the respondent (MEC) was at fault.

Bodole observed, among others, that MEC did not accord Khaki an opportunity to purchase the motor vehicle in issue. She therefore awarded him MK400 million as general damages.

She also awarded Khaki the sum of MK2 million as general damages for unfair labour practices.

In total, Bodole ordered that MEC should pay the applicant the sum of MK69, 361, 001.16 [within 10 days].

Speaking in an interview on Thursday, Khaki said he was relieved that justice has finally been served.

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