Sunday, May 26, 2024

Court awards Brian Banda 103 million kwacha for unfair dismissal at state house

Brian Banda, now a millionaire?

Maverick broadcaster Brian Banda has been awarded a cool sum of 103 million kwacha by the Industrial relations court for unfair dismissal when he worked as a state house press officer.

According to the court judgement, Brian Banda told the court that he was employed on the 7th day of August 2020 on a three-year fixed contract as Presidential Press Secretary and he was dismissed on in February 2022.

“He told the court that he was entitled to MK10, 599, 924.00 annually which as per article viii (1) of the contract was subject to increment at the end of every year. He was also entitled to a motor vehicle Toyota Fortuner, he exhibited evidence which was marked which shows a daily rate of MK25,000.00 for such a vehicle. He further informed the court that he used to have an average of 10 to 15 days out-of-duty assignments for the month for which he was entitled to MK50,000.00 for local assignments and USD 450 per day for external trips. He told the court that these allowances were exclusive of expenses which were borne by the Respondent. He further stated that on average, he would put these off-duty station assignments as half internal and half external. He also demonstrated through a contract agreement that as per close XI (2) of the said contract, he would at the end of his contract, be entitled to 15% of his total salary as gratuity,” reads part of the judgement.

The court admonished the Attorney General Chambers for a laissez faire attitude in handling the matter as they did not show up to defend government.

“However, 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. 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,” the court judgement reads.

Having applied the law, the court concluded.

“The Applicant worked for one complete year. He would, therefore, be entitled to two week’s pay. The above three entitlements, give a monthly entitlement of MK2, 502, 837.00. Two week’s pay would, 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 court, therefore, awards the total sum of K1,251,418.50 as a severance allowance for the applicant. 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 heads. The Applicant is awarded MK 103, 316, 418. 00 being compensation for unfair dismissal and severance allowance and the same must be paid within 30 days.”

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