LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-President Lazarus Chakwera’s Tonse government could pay former Deputy Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) Henry Mathanga over MK1 billion following his resignation citing ill -treatment by the Central Bank through salary cut, freeze of benefits and being sent on unlawful leave.
The resignation following what he terms as “constructive dismissal” in his letter addressed to the RBM governor and the secretary to the Office of the President and Cabinet Zangazanga Chikhosi means the government could pay him millions of Kwacha as he has a contract that runs until 2025.
Added to that, Mathanga has worked for the RBM for nearly 38 years meaning he is set to pocket gratuity calculated from that duration and from his contract as deputy governor.
As he was earning MK18 million a month, the remainder of the contract could see his compensation pegged at around MK1 billion.
His resignation last Friday, March 26, 2021 comes almost a month after the Industrial Relations Court (IRC) ordered that RBM stops effecting a 50 percent salary cut and offer him an official vehicle.
The central bank has not honoured that order.
He has listed six reasons that have forced his resignation.
“I would like to tender my resignation from the position of deputy Reserve Bank governor with immediate effect on the basis that I have been constructively dismissed.
“I have come to this conclusion after a pattern of events that, in my strong view, clearly renders the Reserve Bank of Malawi/ or the Malawi government as my employer, in serious and fundamental breach of the contract of employment to the extent that the working relationship between myself and the employer is no longer tenable,” he said.
Mathanga explains that on August 13, 2020, the RBM governor informed him that his contract had been terminated and a week later he was told that he has been sent on special leave.
“On 19 August, 2020, I received a letter bearing the same date, advising me that the bank was instead putting me on a special leave of absence…Under the bank’s condition of service, the regulation that the bank cited as a basis for the said action in only applicable upon the employee’s request not otherwise.
“I wrote a letter seeking or questioning the basis and justification of this special leave and the same has not been responded to for about seven months,” he said.
Mathanga faults RBM for reducing his MK18 million salary without consulting him, a development that forced him to seek legal redress.
“This decision was made with any consultation with me or consent on my part as is specifically required by the Reserve Bank Act. I wrote a letter expressing my grievances over both the process and the decision to reduce my salary and the same has not been responded to for about three months, yet the bank proceeded to implement that decision,” the letter further reads.
Upon his appointment on a five year contract, he was entitled to a new official vehicle which Mathanga claims he has not been given.
“The bank has refused to allocate me an official vehicle befitting my position as governor and to offer me for sale, a motor vehicle (Toyota Prado TX) I have been using for five years and is overdue for disposal in line with the bank’s own official motor vehicle policy and practice for management staff,” he said.
Mathanga said has suffered “mental torture” through the bank’s conduct which he branded as “a violation of my constitutional and statutory right to fair and lawful labour practices.”
The Bank and OPC have not yet commented on Mathanga’s resignation.