Court orders MRA to pay Mbilizi her benefits


By Mercy Nsaliwa

The Supreme Court of Appeal has ordered Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) to continue paying benefits to Roza Mbilizi who was fired as MRA Deputy Commissioner General in 2020.

Justice Lovemore Chikopa has made the ruling staying the dismissal of Mbilizi.

President Lazarus Chakwera fired Mbilizi in July 2020 after she was arrested on allegations that she facilitated clearance of 400,000 bags of cement worth K3.2 billion which were imported duty free between 2018 and 2019 using former President Peter Mutharika’s taxpayer identification number.

Mbilizi went to the Industrial Relations Court (IRC) where the court ordered that she should be reinstated as an interim relief before the matter is concluded.

MRA took the matter to the High Court where it was granted an order setting aside the implementation of the IRC ruling. Mbilizi then joined the case but her application to reverse the High Court order was dismissed by Judge Mike Tembo. This forced Mbilizi to take the issue to the Supreme Court.

In his statement, Justice Lovemore Chikopa said the scales of justice weight more towards resuscitating the interim relief as ordered by IRC.

He argued that both MRA and Mbilizi would lose money but Mbilizi’s loss will affect other people. He noted that she may get damages in future but the will not be of much use to her as it is now.

“She will not be able to do with such sums what she wants to with the money now,” said Chikopa.

He also ordered the two parties to appear before the IRC to set out ways of concluding the dispute.