Taxpayers are to finance a K62.5 million compensation the Industrial Relations Court (IRC) has awarded former Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) director general Bright Malopa for unfair dismissal.

Malopa was MBC boss until the death of former president Bingu wa Mutharika in April 2012 when the then vice-president Joyce Banda ascended to the presidency in line with the constitutional order. The Banda administration dismissed Malopa and replaced him with veteran broadcaster Benson Tembo.

IRC deputy chairperson Jack N’riva yesterday confirmed that Malopa was awarded some compensation.

Said N’riva: “Mr. Malopa indeed won the case, but I cannot recall the amount of money he was awarded. Check with his lawyer.”

Malopa’s lawyer Patrick Mpaka confirmed that his client was awarded the K62.5 million. He could, however, not divulge more information as he was in a meeting.

Sources told The Nation the court delivered its judgement on November 29 2013. The court gave MBC 14 days to comply with the order.

However, at the end of the 14 days, MBC failed to pay up and Malopa obtained a garnishee order where MBC accounts, including the salaries account, were reportedly frozen.

Commenting on the developments, Malopa said: “I am disappointed with the garnishee order. I wanted to seize transmitters, in particular the satellite uplinks at TV and Mpingwe and keep them at my farm for fun.”

However, MBC spokesperson Ruth Gama expressed ignorance about the court ruling and order.
“This is news to me and I am hearing it from you,” said Gama.

She said all staff have been timely paid and that everything is in order at MBC.
The court assessed Malopa’s claim for damages on August 2 2013 and judgement was delivered on November 29 this year.

When Banda ascended to power, she fired several functionaries that worked under her predecessor. These included presidential spokesperson Hetherwick Ntaba, Reserve Bank of Malawi governor Perks Ligoya and secretary to the Treasury Joseph Mwanamvekha.

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