Government challenges K755 million compensation after backlash

After being criticized for agreeing to pay an ex-employee K755 million compensation, the government has challenged the settlement.

Attorney General (AG) Chikosa Silungwe in August signed a consent order for compensation to former Local Government principal secretary Christopher Makileni who sued government over constructive dismissal.

But the Office of the President and Cabinet has instructed lawyer Thabo Nyirenda to fight the compensation.

Silungwe told the local media that they are discussing other ways of resolving the issue including redeployment of Makileni and recomputing his benefits.

One of Makileni’s lawyers Paul Maulidi said they are still demanding the K755 million compensation.

“There was nothing wrong with the figures which were agreed on, but the AG and OPC are now suggesting new terms and other ways of solving the matter. At the moment, it’s too early to say this is what we will settle for,” Maulidi told the local media.

After the consent order was signed, Makileni’s lawyers filed a case of contempt of court against the Secretary to the President and Cabinet (SPC) Zangazanga Chikhosi and his deputy Janet Banda over failure to pay the money.

On Tuesday, the Industrial Relations Court was expected to hear the contempt of court case but it was adjourned to give Makileni and government a chance to commence negotiations over the amount of the compensation.

Makileni was redeployed to the Office of the President and Cabinet Special Duties in 2014 during the Peter Mutharika administration.

He then demanded compensation saying his official vehicle, a Toyota TX, was taken away and that he had stayed at home for months without being given any duties which he regarded as constructive dismissal.

According to the consent order dated 4 August, 2020, Makileni was awarded K216 million as pension, K205 million for loss of motor vehicle, K270 million as salary before tax and K63 million fuel allowance.

The consent order angered Malawians and some argued that it was part of a scam involving government officials.

 

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