…hired and fired TV personality Brian Banda
…State House failed to defend decision
...Court raps Attorney Generals office
President Lazarus Chakweras reckless decision making and Attorney Generals office laxity will see hard pressed tax payers pay his former Communications Officer Brian Banda K103 million for constructive dismissal.
Banda, if handled properly, caccording to Industrial Relations Court ruling, could have only been paid K5 million gratuity if he had completed his 3 year contract at State House.
Bandas contract was initially supposed to run until July 2023 but early in 2022 was appointed to non existent post, which saw him leave State House and later dragged it to court for constructive dismissal.
The State House did not defend the case despite acknowledging it, a decision that left the court to agree with Banda’s claim.
The Court deputy chair Peter Kandulu rapped the Attorney General Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda for failing to defend public interests.
“The court would like to bemoan the tendency by counsel representing the Respondent
for the laissez faire attitude when executing their work at the expense of tax payers resources,” said Kandulu.
He added, “The service of the court’s documents were served on the representative of the State and evidence of receipt or acknowledgement was tendered in court. However, despite receipt they did not appear in court for several times. I would urge officers responsible in the office of the Attorney General
to ensure that this tendency is checked and put to rest. Court services and orders must always be respected by the State. This would set a good example to all lawyers in this country since the Attorney General is head of the bar.”
On Banda, he said the applicant had informed the court that the respondent had deployed him to a non existing posts, a position which was contrary to his profession.
“He stated that he felt that the Respondent had created an environment which made it impossible for the two to continue with the
work relationship. It was his argument that it was the conduct of the Repondent which had made him lose his work,” summerised Kandulu.
Bandas lawyer Mauya Msuku submitted to the court that the TV talkshow host was entitled to K10,599, 924.00 annual salary which translates to K883, 327.00 per month.
He was also entitled to a motor vehicle whose daily rate is K25, 000.00 translating to
K750,000.00 on an average of 30 days per month. The motor vehicle also came with 500 litres of fuel.
“The Applicant’s contract was to run from August 2020 to July 2023. It was terminated in February 2022 by the Respondent. He therefore, lost 17 months. If the monthly entitlement of K5, 196, 337.00 was to be taken, the total comes to K88, 337, 729.00.
“The contract provided for annual increment of the salary. Lost salary alone is K15, 016, 559.00. Counsel for the applicant had submitted that the court must awards an additional 20% of this to reflect the lost increments. 20% would be K3, 003, 311.80.
Counsel has further stated that the contract provided for 15% gratuity upon completion of the contract.
The court therefore award the applicant the above three sums a total of K97, 064, 999.80,” reads part of the ruling.
The court added that the above three entitlements, give a monthly entitlement of MK2, 502, 837.00. Two week’s paywould, therefore, be MK1, 251, 418.50.
From the submission, the formula for calculating severance pay for 2 weeks’ wages would be MK2, 502, 837. 00 / 2 = MK1, 251, 418. 50.
“The Counsel for the applicant had moved the court to award the applicant the total sum award of MK103, 316, 418.00 being the total sum of all the proposed awards under the above,” ruled Kandulu, sending Banda an early Christmas gift from State Residence.
The Attonery General is likely to appeal the ruling.